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Time to Level up Social Care with NHS says Care Providers

It is time to level up the way social care is treated with the way the NHS is handled for the benefit of the vulnerable people who receive care, it was claimed today.

Providers want an end to social care being treated as the poor relation to NHS services and sufficient investment to bring it to parity.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the recent handling of mandatory vaccination was evidence of the Government using social care as guinea pigs.

Chair Mike Padgham said: “The whole ‘no jab, no job’ debacle was yet more evidence of the shabby way the Government treats social care in this country.

“They introduced it for care and nursing home staff in November, regardless of the impact it ultimately had on dire staffing levels in care settings.

“But when it came to the NHS it has now launched a consultation and it looks like it is to be scraped altogether. It seems once again that it is one rule for social care and one for the NHS.

“The time for that disparity is over. Social care has demonstrated time and time again, especially over the past two years, that it has an equally vital role to play in caring for society as the NHS – it is time it was treated that way.

“If the Government is serious about levelling up, then levelling social care with NHS care would be a good place to begin.”

The ICG wants to see:

  • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded
  • NHS care and social care merged and managed locally or nationally
  • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation
  • Dementia treated and funded like other high priority illnesses
  • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
  • Proper pay, conditions and career structure for carers
  • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.
  • The Government has said that, subject to consultation and House of Commons agreement, it will revoke the mandatory Covid-19 jabs for NHS and social care staff.

It was due to come into effect in April for NHS staff and those providing social care in people’s own homes through homecare, with first injections needed this week.

The policy was introduced in care and nursing homes last November, causing thousands of staff to lose their jobs and preventing many thousands more from joining the sector.

 

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