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CEO welcomes Archbishop comments

Community Integrated Care welcomes the comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recognising the fundamental inequalities between the social care sector and its public sector counterparts.

Highlighting the national obligation to recognise “the value of the human being” and to close the gap between the sector and its peers in “health and education”, the comments reflect the findings our Unfair To Care research and the calls from many who access and provide support for more transformative action by government.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, the Archbishop, who is leading a commission on ‘Reimagining Care’, said “There isn’t a clear vision for care. We know the vision for the NHS: ‘free care at the point of use’. You can sum it up in a sentence … We keep talking about how we are going to pay for it when we don’t really know what we want to pay for.”

He called for a new “covenant” on social care between the state and the people, similar to the provision of the NHS and education, which makes “absolute value and dignity” a fundamental priority.

Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, says: “The Archbishop’s words powerfully articulate how far we are from a social care sector that is fit for the needs of society.

The reforms recently presented by the Prime Minister have failed to achieve his promise of “fixing the crisis in social care once and for all”. Whilst they have offered some progress, fundamentally they have fallen far short of the transformative vision and investment that is required to offer people the high-quality support that they need and to relieve the sector’s unprecedented workforce pressures.

Society deserves a social care system that is equipped to meet the rights, needs and aspirations of every person who requires support, and to properly assist family carers. This is not possible without a strong, stable and happy workforce.

The Archbishop is right to highlight the disparity between how we view and support social care compared to systems like the NHS and education. Our Unfair To Care research used world-class independent job evaluation techniques to prove that people working in social care are every bit as skilled as those in counterpart roles in these sectors. Shockingly though, the report found that most frontline Support Workers would be paid £7000 if they held the exact same responsibilities in any other public sector. This is immoral, unjust and at the roots of our current crisis.

Society deserves better than a social care system where too many people miss out on the support that they need, pressures are routinely passed onto family carers, and 35% of its workforce exits every year to find a different career. We need a vision that is rooted in the concept that caring is valued and every life is precious.

Through speaking up and acknowledging the challenges the sector faces, Mr Welby has added his voice to the millions calling for meaningful change for those most in need. We hope this helps build momentum in the journey to achieving a fairer deal for social care workforce, and the millions of people who draw on it.”

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