5th February 2009
A constitution for social care
Launched by Demos, the MS Society and Leonard Cheshire Disability
Demos, in partnership with the MS Society and Leonard Cheshire Disability, and supported by in Control, launched a new proposed Social Care Constitution yesterday at the Westminster Central Hall.
In the context of Government’s reform of social care, the Social Care Constitution seeks to set out the rights and responsibilities of the people who use social care services, staff who deliver it, government and local authorities, and the public.
Key speakers on policy implications of the Constitution included:
Phil Hope MP, Minister of State for Care Services
Greg Mulholland MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Health
Stephen O’Brien MP, Conservative Shadow Minister for Health
This debate was chaired by Demos’ Director, Richard Reeves, with a background and explanation of the proposed Constitution provided by Demos’ Jamie Bartlett, author of the Social Care Constitution.
Demos describe this document as setting out a fair settlement between social care users and society. As they state:
Social care is an essential public service. It provides day to day support for disabled people, those with impairments, and older people who need help maintaining their independence and living full and active lives. At the moment, it helps support over 1.5 million people, and it is a fundamental element of our welfare system.
Demos partnered with Leonard Cheshire Disability and the Multiple Sclerosis Society to investigate what disabled people of working age need from the social care system and how the future funding of social care can be designed to meet that need.
With an increasingly ageing population and a growing complexity of care needs, our social care system needs a profound transformation to be sustainable and fair. The current system lacks in clarity, simplicity and fairness, making it extremely difficlut to navigate and understand. The NHS now has a Constitution to enshrine the principles of healthcare in this country. Social care deserves one too.
This Constitution for Social Care is a step toward that aim. It sets out a clear set of principles explaining what we should expect from the system and what we might be responsible to contribute in return. The Constitution seeks to define a fair settlement for service users with the rest of society. People requiring care services, providers and the general public should confidently understand what they can expect from the social care structure now and in the future.
The full pdf of this document can be downloaded here:
A Social Care Constitution