It’s Everybody’s Business
While the social care transformation debate pulls the policy, government and provider minds in one direction, there is still the issue of how social care is operating on the ground. We’ve all heard the stories about cutting back on packages, cost savings, pressures and limits. Indeed, probably the majority of the people reading this article will have a client or two which they know are not receiving care paid for adequately by the social care department in their local authority, or they know people who have been turned down for social care services because their needs weren’t high enough or they had ‘too much’ money.
The ‘Right Care Right Deal’ campaign aims to cross both sides of the argument – to engage in the policy and analysis involved in creating a new system, but also to support the voices of the service users on the hard edge of the current system, who struggle along in a way that many members of the public ‘at large’ are simply unaware of.
‘Right Care Right Deal’s’ hard-hitting new report It’s Everybody’s Business tackles this head-on with six stories which outline just how much of a battle everyday life is for some people who use social care services. It takes the policy and strips it down to mean something real – the human cost of social care.
Take Jennie, who has very limited mobility, receives support from carers three times a day, but would especially love to leave the house now and again. Jennie’s needs are stable, but her care isn’t; she rarely sees the same care worker for more than a couple of visits, they can be unreliable and she often has to call the agency to find out who is visiting before they arrive. For Jennie, though, her main problems are not her physical difficulties, she copes with them well, and often doesn’t feel ill. Jennie is most affected by a sense of boredom and lack of purpose. While social care is not there to give Jennie a social life, it doesn’t currently offer her any more than the absolute basics.
There are five other short accounts in this report, written in the words of the individuals themselves, alongside a diary of their week. It makes enlightening reading, putting flesh onto the stories and situations we all know exist. If nothing else it reminds us why we need people working hard on the solution for social care, to help the Jennies of this world live a more supported, meaningful and purposeful life.
It’s Everybody’s Business report
Members of Right Care, Right deal are Help the Aged, Carers UK and Counsel & Care
Elizabeth McLennan, Senior Policy Officer, Help the Aged