“A gloriously ordinary life”: spotlight on adult social care

The House of Lords Adult Social Care report endorses Social Care Future’s vision for care:

At Dimensions we support people to live ordinary lives and be part of their community with choices and opportunities just like everyone else. The report says:

The Lords committee is a huge 148-page effort, with lived experience at the core of its 685 references, 8 pages of witnesses and 30 recommendations including people we support at Dimensions.

We welcome its call for the Government to commit to a more positive and resilient approach to adult social care based on greater visibility for the whole sector, as well as greater choice and control for disabled adults and older people and a better deal for unpaid carers.

It asks the Government to:

1) Make adult social care a national imperative by:

  • Delivering an appropriate and long-term funding settlement as part of a holistic national strategy for social care
  • A properly resourced workforce strategy for social care. We have been campaigning for better pay and a skills framework in our Workforce Strategy Dimensions is referenced in the report for its contribution: “Significantly, there is no professional recognition or certification of skills acquired in many adult social care roles.”
  • The profile of social care must be raised within wider society, with a detailed, long-term national plan for the sector
  • The establishment of a Commissioner for Care and Support, to show how adult social care can have such positive and transformational power in people’s lives
  • Finally and fully implementing the principles of the Care Act 2014, rooted in wellbeing, choice, and control
  • Collating data to meet need more effectively
  • Ensuring that the voice of social care is loud and clear within Integrated Care Systems (which are responsible for commissioning health and social care services.) Dimensions is cited in the report:  “NHS domination of ICSs could also result in emphasis on the “medical model” of disability (people are disabled by their impairments or differences) rather than the “social model” (disability is caused by the way society is organised).

2) We want to see people who draw on care having the same choice and control over their lives as other people.

  • This can only happen through the widespread adoption of co-production in social care practice
    The solutions that enable people to exercise choice and control and live independent lives, such as effective approaches to building community capacity, direct payments or accessible and inclusive housing, must be expanded.

3) A system that is not based on the assumption that families will automatically provide care and support for each other because no other choice is open to them.

  • There needs to be better recognition of the value of their contribution—to our society and economy— and better support for them to keep caring.