Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock Yesterday announced the launch of a national Covid-19 social care support taskforce, led by David Pearson, a former chief of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) has welcomed the move and said it hoped the task force would go beyond coronavirus and help shape the future of the sector.
ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “An expert-led task force is something we have called for for many years, as a way to take social care forward.
“We are delighted to see this new task force announced and hope it works swiftly to not only help everyone who is looked after by social care through coronavirus, but also to look at the whole future of social care and guide it into a more sustainable future, with better funding and parity with the NHS.”
ICG priorities for the future are:
- The total integration of NHS healthcare and social care
- Social care free at the point of need, funded through taxation or National Insurance
- Direct financial support for care providers during the current pandemic paid through CQC
- A commissioner for older people and those with Learning Disabilities in England
- A national career pathway and salary framework for care staff
- Professional registration for care staff
- A properly-costed national rate for care fees
- Needs-based continuing healthcare (CHC) payments
- A Covid-19 bonus for all frontline care staff.
“David Pearson is an excellent choice to lead the task force. We hope he is joined quickly by other experts from the social care sector and wish him God’s speed,” Mr Padgham added.”
Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum:-
“I welcome the announcement of a National COVID-19 Social Care Support Taskforce that will bring together the multiple strands of work that have been developed to address the impact of COVID-19 on those receiving social care. Social care must never again be seen as an afterthought in government or public thinking, or action. We look forward to working with David Pearson to ensure that this taskforce keeps the government on track in fulfilling commitments to enable those who receive care and support to have access to safe, quality, person centred care. In addition, I was very pleased to hear David acknowledge the ‘extraordinary acts of kindness’ enacted by the social care workforce up and down the country and the debt of ‘gratitude’ to those 1.5 million staff.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic the skills and expertise of social care staff has come to the fore, and this taskforce will play a vital role in ensuring this is appropriately recognised and embedded in our understanding of the social care professional.”
Vic Rayner went on to say:-
“This taskforce will provide a real opportunity for all partners to work together to ensure a coordinated focus on managing this virus, and bring energy and attention to the way in which COVID-19 is impacting social care now – and critically in planning and preparation for the future.”
She concluded by saying:-
“This taskforce has a huge job ahead of it, and the list of priorities has to have people at the heart of it. In order for there to be care that meets people’s needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to have urgently established:
- Smooth, reliable, resilient PPE supply chain;
- Regular, routine weekly testing;
- Learning from across the UK and the international community to inform actions now and in the future;
- Adequate funding to ensure the best quality care is delivered to everyone who needs it;
- Data that brings together a real-time picture which informs and shapes national and local policy responses;
- Access to the right clinical support to ensure people get the right health response at the right time, and
- Support to the workforce.”