By: George Owen

The Splash: How Will Your Vote Effect UK Social Care?

Spending on social care has fallen by 8% since 2010, with both the numbers of those requiring care and staff shortages on the rise.

Whether you’re a Social Worker, Family Support Worker, or Care Home Manager, it’s vital to know how each political party plans to tackle the crisis in social care at the upcoming 2019 general election.

That’s why we’ve combed through each party’s manifesto, to highlight what they have to say about social care and give you the facts you need to determine your vote.

Conservatives

  • An Additional £1bn per year for more social care staff, better infrastructure and facilities
  • Guarantee that no one has to sell their home to pay for care
  • Extend entitlement to leave to one week for unpaid carers
  • Prioritise dementia cure research with doubled funding
  • £74 million over three years to improve community care for those with learning disabilities and autism


Labour

  • Comprehensive National Care Service to work in partnership with NHS and provide joined-up health and care system that replaces the need for private-sector care
  • Work towards free personal care for all, starting with £10.8bn towards free personal social care for over-65s
  • Lifetime cap on personal contributions to care costs
  • Reverse cuts to social care packages – doubling the number of people receiving publicly-funded care
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers
  • Provide own-home support for autistic people and those with learning disabilities to take them out of inappropriate inpatient hospital settings
  • Care contracts awarded only to providers who meet standards of transparency, compliance, and profit capping
  • Repeal Health and Social Care Act 2012 to work against privatisation

Lib Dems

  • Joined-up system of health and social care with Health and Care Tax
  • New Professional Body for Care Workers, to promote ongoing training and development, and improved pay structures.
  • Cap on the cost of care
  • New requirement for professional regulation of all care home managers, including requirements for relevant qualifications
  • Work towards 70% of care staff having NVQ level 2 or equivalent, with ongoing training to improve retention and raise the status of caring
  • Move towards free end-of-life social care
  • Statutory guarantee of regular respite breaks for unpaid carers plus a package of carer benefits

Greens

  • Universal Basic Income for all with additional Carer’s Allowance and supplements for those with disabilities
  • £4.5bn a year to provide free social care for over-65s who need support in their own homes
  • A single budget covering health and social services, to make life easier for people who need to access several types of service.
  • Devolution of healthcare, with communities given more control over health services
  • Repeal Health and Social Care Act 2012 to work against privatisation
  • Reinstate Health Secretary’s duty to provide services throughout England and create a duty to ensure there is enough health and care staff

SNP 

  • £30 million of new funding to local authorities across Scotland, to work towards free personal care for people of all ages
  • Funding to enable adult social care workers to be paid the Scottish Living wage – benefitting up to 40,000 care workers.
  • Carers Act, with a national or regional approach to supporting carers and cared-for people
  • Carer’s Allowance Supplement to increase Carer’s Allowance by 13%

Plaid Cymru 

  • Creation of a National Health and Care Service managed nationally by a National Health and Social Care Board
  • Social care in Wales that is free at the point of need and funded from general taxation
  • Parity of pay between Health and Social Care, with care workers moved onto NHS pay scales
  • A commitment to person-centred care in the design and delivery of the service
  • Develop a bi-lingual workforce to provide a fully bi-lingual social care service.

We hope that has helped to clarify where the major political parties stand on social care.

As ever, it’s important to look into each party’s record on social care, as well as their manifesto’s promises, to give you the clearest view of the impact they could have on your industry and your career.

For more information on the general election, check out our previous guides to party stances on Nursing and Healthcare and Criminal Justice. We’ll also be posting more manifesto analysis on Animal Health and Life Sciences soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you are looking for a new temporary contract in social care, please click here to browse and apply for thousands of roles across the UK with Seven Social Care.