Voyage Care, specialist providers of care and support for people with learning and physical disabilities, brain injuries, autism and other complex needs, welcomed Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KBE KC MP on a visit to Westwood House, a care home in Swindon, last week.
Sir Robert, MP for Swindon South, is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism as well as the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Learning Disability, and has long campaigned for the rights of those with autism and other neurodivergent individuals. During the visit, he met with people supported by Voyage Care and heard first-hand how the skills and commitment of support workers are helping them to live more meaningful and fulfilled lives.
In discussions with Sir Robert, Jackie Beddow, Regional Operations Director for Voyage Care and Carole Laurelli, Home Manager at Westwood House outlined a number of ideas and initiatives that the organisation has to help improve the adult social care system.
A report published by the King’s Fund earlier this year highlighted several key challenges affecting the sector, including recruitment and retention, funding and the cost-of-living crisis, all impacting the ability of people to be able to access the care they need when they need it. Voyage Care is focussed on reframing the debate around adult social care so that it focusses on those of working age being supported as much as those who are older or those needing to be discharged from hospitals.
Voyage Care supports 3,500 people with a variety of complex needs across the UK and employs more than 11,000 team members to enable those individuals it supports to lead more independent and fulfilled lives.
Andrew Cannon, Chief Executive Officer at Voyage Care, said: “We see it as our responsibility to raise awareness of the issues that exist within adult social care. By inviting politicians and policy makers to meet and hear directly from the people we support, we can showcase the extraordinary work our colleagues do every day to enable them to live as independently as possible.
“Enabling access to high quality specialist adult social care is fundamental to the lives of those we support and also helps to reduce the systemwide pressure on wider public services, such as the NHS, housing and other social care. Among our ideas is calling for the Government to introduce a new Commissioner for Adult Social Care with a legal mandate to promote and protect the rights of those relying on the adult social care system.”
Sir Robert Buckland, MP for Swindon South, says: “I was very pleased to meet with the dedicated team at Westwood House here in Swindon along with service users. As someone with a long interest in autism and learning disability, this was a valuable opportunity for me to learn more about a number of ideas and initiatives that Voyage Care has to help improve the adult social care system.”