House of Lords report on adult social care
A recent report published by the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee sets out a new approach to adult social care.
There have been a number of publications during 2022 that have helped to illustrate the depth of the crisis facing all those who work in the adult social care sector. The most recent of these was published by the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee in December 2022. After hearing from a range of witnesses, including disabled adults and older people, carers, service providers, local authorities, and academics, the comprehensive 150-page report ‘A “gloriously ordinary” life: spotlight on adult social care‘ sets out a new approach to adult social care which calls on the Government to commit to a more positive and resilient approach to adult social care based on greater visibility for the whole sector, as well as greater choice and control for disabled adults and older people and a better deal for unpaid carers.
Like the Adult Social Care Committee, we are very aware that when it comes to social care, we’re working in a time of increasing need, rising costs and a shrinking workforce. We made a submission to the review conducted by the Committee, and were very pleased with the recommendations contained in their final report. To give you a sense of their conclusions, part of the report summary is reproduced below:
“…. adult social care continues to be largely out of sight and off the public agenda until we need it. This is in stark contrast to the NHS. Our understanding of adult social care, as a society, is partial and often flawed. We see social care as intended to support those who cannot support themselves: a burden on resources that is synonymous with decline and crisis.
“These assumptions exist not only in wider society but have also framed policy at key points in history and in the present, with the consequence that adult social care has been denied the opportunity to be what it should be: a service that enables people to live fruitful, active and valuable lives. Drawing on adult social care should not be seen as a disaster, nor should it mean resigning oneself to a lower quality of life. Instead, social care needs to be about being given the extra support required to enable people to live what one witness described to us as a “gloriously ordinary life”—like any other citizen. This can be achieved by social and economic investment that we make as a society—not least because we are all likely to draw on it eventually.
“The social movement Social Care Future describes social care as follows:
“We all want to live in the place we call home, with the people and things we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing what matters to us.”
We fully endorse this definition and believe that it should form the basis of any reform. Without a fundamental rethinking of how we understand, approach and design social care, it will not be possible to realise the huge value that care and support can bring—and as a society we will keep failing disabled adults, older people, unpaid carers, and ourselves.”
The full recommendations, and a copy of the report (including an Easy Read version) can be found here: