Care England has launched a long-term plan for the independent adult social care sector, which is calling for an immediate injection of £4bn.
The plan, titled A manifesto for the future, said sustainability of the sector needed to be secured through fair funding, proportionate regulation and recognition, adding that quality care cannot be delivered on a shoestring.
The eight-page plan said: ‘The chancellor’s latest pledge of £1.5bn, whilst welcome, is simply inadequate and represents at the very most a short-term cessation of the sectors deteriorating financial position. Investment in the sector is key and will only be achieved with a clear long-term care strategy which is properly funded.’
It demanded staff have appropriate training, fair pay and career structures in place that mirror their colleagues in the NHS. ‘Care staff should be seen as key workers,’ the plan said.
The document also called for a Commissioner for Older People; ensuring the needs of adults with learning disabilities are met by health and social care services; easier recruitment of staff from overseas; and the creation of one cross-sector training and support body – Skills for Delivery, among other areas.
Professor Martin Green, Care England chief executive, said: ‘Social care has been ignored by successive governments. Now a long-term plan for adult social care is critical. There is no need for further consultation, review of green papers; the moment has passed.
‘The sector is brimming with innovation, energy and commitment which needs to be harnessed by an incoming government into a long-term plan.’
He urged providers to use the plan to challenge electoral candidates on their policies for the future direction of care ahead of the general election on 12 December.
As reported last month, the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report found that workforce and funding in adult social care continued to contribute to the fragility of the sector.