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Labour Party backs calls for social care reform

The 2019 Labour Party Conference has passed a motion calling for a radical and important change to social care in the UK. This motion was developed by an alliance of disabled people's organisations, including the campaign Reclaim Social Care, the Socialist Health Association and supported by many different organisations (including the Centre for Welfare Reform) and many Constituency Labour Parties.

The motion was moved by Aylesbury CLP and seconded by Newcastle Central CLP and reads:

Social Care: Composite 1

“Conference notes the current postcode lottery of Social Care funding and the real hardship and unfairness this causes, impacting on the most vulnerable within our society reducing life expectancy, health outcomes and wellbeing.

“Labour to develop a universal care and support service working with user groups, in collaboration with a national independent living support service and available to all on basis of need, based on article 19 of the UNCRPD.

“England’s social care system is broken. Local Authorities face £700m cuts in 2018-19. With £7 billion slashed since 2010, 26% fewer older people receive support, while demand grows. Most care is privatised, doesn’t reflect users’ needs and wishes, whilst charges increase.

“Disabled and elderly people face barriers to inclusion and independent living, thousands feel neglected. 8 million unpaid, overworked family carers, including children and elderly relatives, provide vital support

“Make the provision of all social care free to recipients as is the case for health care under the NHS.

“A Service:

• That provides a new universal right to independent living

• Enshrined in law and delivered through a new National Independent Living

• Service co-created between government and service users

“Consequences of marrying social care to the NHS include medicalisation, isolation, indignity, maltreatment, bringing social care under a struggling NHS umbrella is not the answer.

“Transfer responsibility for funding social care from the LA to the national exchequer through progressive taxation.

“Distribute funding to the LA’s for social care on the basis of the population served (age, sex and deprivation) and the cost of the care.

“Locally democratic and designed by service users and carers in partnership with local authorities and the NHS, delivered as far as possible by service users.

“Publicly, democratically run services, designed and delivered locally, co-productively involving local authorities, the NHS and service users, disabled people and carers.

“Providing staff with nationally agreed training qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.

“Fund social care to provide a pay rise of at least 35% to all care workers. Giving informal carers the rights and support they need.

“Conference resolves that within the first term of a new Labour Government to provide a universal system of social care and support based on a universal right to independent living.”

Dr Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform said:

“This a very welcome next step in ending the many gross injustices created by the current social care system. It is noted that official Labour Party policy still falls short of this goal. Nevertheless, this is a very important development which reflects the shared interests of disabled people, families and people who work in social care. The Labour Party's commitment to put the right to independent living at the heart of the reforms is very encouraging and demonstrates that - if we can bring to an end the era of austerity and the current failed Government - there is hope for a better and more just future.”

The Centre for Welfare Reform's own Manifesto on Social Care Reform can be read at:

https://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/manifesto/social-care-reform.html

And, the Centre's recent publication setting out the case for fully funding social care is available at:

https://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/fully-funded-social-care.html