THE Archbishops’ Commission, launched last year by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, has this week, launched a new report, Care and Support Reimagined, laying out a long-term vision to transform care and support in the UK.
The report argues that tackling negative attitudes to ageing and disability is crucial to reimagining care and support, alongside urging politicians, communities and other organisations to take action.
Kirsty Matthews, CEO of the national learning disability charity, Hft, has responded to the report as follows:
“At Hft, we are happy to hear that care and support is a priority for the Archbishops’ Commission. With a social care system currently at breaking point, facing a perfect storm of growing demand and severe staffing shortages, we welcome the long-term vision of Care and Support Reimagined.
“Whilst the Government has attempted social care reform in the short-term, most recently with its announcement of an extra £250m to pay for care home beds, there has been little to no meaningful reform that adequately addresses the long-term challenges facing our sector. The Archbishops’ Commission’s long-term vision is therefore both refreshing and necessary to ensure the sustainability of our sector.
“The report highlights the significant 55% increase in vacancies in our sector in just one year – a statistic that will likely only improve with funding to cover a wage which accurately reflects the complexity and skill of work in our sector. Currently, care providers are caught in the middle because they are beholden to cash-strapped local authorities for funding, making any competitive rise in staff pay almost impossible.”
The Archbishop’s report also focuses on the negative attitudes people receiving care and support, including adults with a learning disability, might face, highlighting that such attitudes are a barrier to meaningful change.
Ms Matthews said:
“We sincerely agree that no one should be held back because of a disability. The backbone of Hft is the belief in a world where anyone with a learning disability can live within their community with all the choices and support they need to live the best life possible.
“We would like to see a shift in attitudes away from existing stigma to ensure this is possible. This, alongside long-term Government reform, will ensure the sustainability of our sector, both for social care staff and those who receive support.
“It is also salient to note the report’s emphasis on a person-centred approach; we know from our very own Personalised Technology team that championing this approach is vital to shaping care and support for each individual and enabling adults with learning disabilities to live independently. Those who receive support are the epicentre of our sector and must be considered, in-depth when it comes to a long-term attitudinal shift and reform.
“Only when all of these things fall into place, in the long-term, can we be confident in the sustainability of our sector.”