Social Care Manifesto Pledges: Policies That Matter For You

26th June 2024

The care sector is a vital part of our society, providing support to our most vulnerable citizens. Despite this, it is also a sector under pressure. From workforce shortages to funding concerns, the headlines are often daunting and confusing. With ‘1 in 7 people faces ‘catastrophic’ social care costs of more than £100,000′ (KingsFund), reform is needed for both your clients and your staff. Cutting through the noise, to determine which social care manifesto pledges benefit your sector best, can be an overwhelming task.

In this blog, we’ll be diving into the world of each political party’s adult social care manifesto pledges. We’ll shed light on the big picture, and give you an impartial information source on issues that matter to you most.

Parties mentioned are in no particular order.

Liberal Democrat Reforms

“Carers don’t have a voice, they are too busy, they’re exhausted. If we’re going to sort out the NHS, we’ve got to sort out care[.] Part of that is social care, professional care workers, but part of it is family care, and that’s never in the political debate.”

Sir Ed Davey, Lib Dem Leader

  • Introduce free personal care based on the model implemented in Scotland and establish a cross-party commission to forge a long-term agreement on sustainable funding for social care.
  • Create the ‘national care agency’ to set national minimum standards of care.
  • Develop a social care workforce plan and establish a Royal College of Care Workers to represent the care workforce.
  • Create career pathways and increase flexibility for staff to work across NHS and social care services.
  • Introduce a carer’s minimum wage, increase the Carer’s Allowance and expand eligibility, and introduce a guarantee of regular respite breaks for unpaid carers and paid carers’ leave.
  • Make caring a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Conservative Reforms

“If you talk to anybody who works particularly in hospitals and in social care, they will say [make] it easier for people to leave hospitals[.] Not only is it better for their recovery, [it] also helps us improve waiting times in hospitals.”

Rishi Sunak, Conservative Leader

  • Implement planned reforms to cap social care costs from October 2025.
  • Provide local authorities with a multi-year funding settlement to support social care and implement the reforms set out in the ‘People at the heart of care’ white paper.

This included amongst other pledges:

  • From October 2023, no one will be forced to pay unlimited and unpredictable costs for their care.
  • £150 million of additional funding to drive greater adoption of technology and achieve widespread digitisation.
  • £300 million to integrate housing into local health and care strategies.
  • £500 million so the social care workforce have the right training and qualifications.
  • A new practical support service to make minor repairs and changes in people’s homes to help people remain independent.
  • £25 million to work with the sector to kick-start a change in the services provided to support unpaid carers.
  • £70 million to increase the support offer across adult social care to improve the delivery of care and support services.

Labour Reforms

“Labour will undertake a programme of reform to create a national care service, underpinned by national standards, delivering consistency of care across the country. Services will be locally delivered, with a principle of ‘home first’ that supports people to live independently for as long as possible.”

Labour Manifesto Pledge

‘The Labour Party has made no funded commitments on social care’ (CommunityCare). They plan to:

  • Establish a fair pay agreement in adult social care.
  • Create a National Care Service, underpinned by national standards and delivering consistency of care across the country.
  • Implement a cap on social care costs from October 2025.
  • Build consensus for the longer-term reform needed to create a sustainable National Care Service.

Get Involved!

We would love to know your opinions on the social care manifesto pledges – is enough being done to fix social care? Head to our LinkedIn post today to leave a comment with your thoughts!