By William Case
In the last 12 months there has been a lot of talk about
transforming social care and working more closely with health care.
Social care is still on the cliff edge, with local authorities
trying to meet the needs of their residents who require social care
support. Each year, council tax is increased to help meet the
growing need for social care.
If we look back to the general election, the government didn't
once mention young people or those below retirement age receiving
social care support. It was focused on the very old and the debate
of being forced to sell their homes in order to pay for support
costs in later life. In the UK there is a great number of people
who are not receiving adult social care support and who are being
isolated from their communities, limiting the possibilities to
create connections with new friends and neighbours. We should also
recognise that those people who do have good quality support are
still somewhat isolated from their communities. Through no fault of
their own, and due to local authorities' shoe-string resources,
they cannot fully meet the support needs of all individuals.
As we build the social care of the future, national government
must recognise the full value of individuals being truly in control
of their own support. I also urge the government to fully recognise
the role of a personal assistant in health and social care. It
isn't just a stop gap job, but to be recognised as a career, and
the salary should reflect as much. Creeping above minimum wage does
not do the career justice and undervalues the quality of life a
good PA can support someone to have. The salary should include pay
rises for recognition of good work and length of service, increased
pay on bank holidays, and not be determined by which local
authority the funding comes from. The level of support needs and
training might also be considered.
We must be more creative with how we support individuals to
access a personal budget. The time has come to be more creative
with limited recourses if we are to make the future of social care
really work. We don't want to be part of system; we just want our
support to work for our lives.
Local authorities and national government must value
not-for-profit organisations which support individuals to live an
interdependent life, such as Your Support Matters.
My final thoughts: future social care must be creative and
diverse so people like me, who require extra support to live a good
quality of life, can continue to make a valuable contribution to
CEO of Your Support Matters and associate
of In Control
has been developed to create a space, including a gathering in
November, for a wide range of people and voices to debate and take
action for a positive future.
We want to get past just thinking about stabilising the
current system which isn't fit for the future. We want to make a
contribution to a much more positive vision, share what's going on
now that helps get us there, and find ways of supporting each other
as we build the future.
In Control is part of the informal group supporting
#socialcarefuture and as part of this we are hosting this blog
series. Many people will be blogging and their views are their