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BASW England statement in response to LGA ‘The Lives We Want to Lead’

BASW England welcomes the outcome of the consultation led by the Local Government Association (LGA) titled “The Lives We Want to Lead”. As we await the delayed government green paper, it is essential we consider the future of adult social care as the current crisis continues to escalate impacting upon individuals, families, carers and the social care workforce.

We need to aim high and be ambitious - BASW’s vision for adult social care is

“All adults and carers have access to quality and effective support when they need it that ensures full and equal citizenship through upholding rights, including the right to independent living. This support should be sustainable and make the best use of resources.”

In order to achieve this vision we continue to have significant concerns in relation to the impact that chronic underfunding has had on the ability to effectively deliver good social work practice within adult social care and the devastating impact this has had on individuals lives. The LGA rightly calls for increased funding for preventative services and the need to reverse funding cuts to public health services. Investment in preventative services reduces situations reaching crisis and supports individuals to remain at home as part of their community.  Whilst BASW supports the need to consider other options for funding, we are concerned regarding the proposal to increase taxation and national insurance contributions for all. We know that of the 14 million people living in poverty in the UK, 8 million live in families where one adult is in paid employment[1], unless there is fair funding allocation for adult services, the vulnerable and low paid will face significant hardship due to the impact of becoming responsible for funding essential services.

BASW called upon the LGA and subsequently the government to ensure fair access to services for all through:

  • Introducing a universal standard of wellbeing based upon the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Disabled Persons standard of independent living.
  • Commencing a sector wide review regarding the Care Act including how eligibility criteria is used within adult social care.
  • Ensuring the equal importance of social wellbeing alongside health wellbeing.

Maris Stratulis, National Director BASW England says,

‘We are pleased that there is recognition of the importance of adult social care inclusive of social work practice and wholeheartedly support a nationwide campaign to promote understanding of the role of adult social care services. We must ensure the equal importance of social wellbeing alongside health wellbeing for all citizens in England and that there is fair and equitable access to services, underpinned by investment of sustainable funding from government’.

Gerry Nosowska, BASW Chair says,

‘Social care matters to all of us. It is a vital part of many people’s lives and we all hope to live long enough to benefit from it. Currently, many people miss out on essential care. Social workers will keep striving to enable good lives for everyone but we need a sustainable, fair funding settlement now.’

Read the full response

[1] JRF (2017) UK Poverty 2017 available at https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/uk-poverty-2017