Social care: what the last Labour conference demanded

Labour’s leadership has been studiously avoiding any commitment to public ownership and provision of social care – even though it is obviously necessary, potentially very popular and in addition existing Labour Party conference policy.

Below is text on social care passed at Labour conference 2019, last September. The two motions are contradictory in that one calls for integration of the NHS and social care and the other opposes it. However they are united and crystal clear in calling for public ownership, full public funding and free public provision of care.

We must fight for this policy to be committed to, argued for and campaigned for.

• See this piece by Nadia Whittome MP making the case for public ownership
• Sign this statement
• See here for more on social care


From NHS Composite 2

Our publicly-owned NHS needs to be fully integrated with Social Care systems which should all be universal, comprehensive, publicly owned, provided, funded and accountable.

Mover: Sutton and Cheam CLP
Seconder: Wavertree CLP

From Social Care Composite 1

Conference notes the current postcode lottery of Social Care funding and the real hardship and unfairness this causes, impacting on the most vulnerable within our society reducing life expectancy, health outcomes and wellbeing.

Labour to develop a universal care and support service working with user groups, in collaboration with a national independent living support service and available to all on basis of need, based on article 19 of the UNCRPD.

England’s social care system is broken. Local Authorities face £700m cuts in 2018-19. With £7 billion slashed since 2010, 26% fewer older people receive support, while demand grows. Most care is privatised, doesn’t reflect users’ needs and wishes, whilst charges increase.

Disabled and elderly people face barriers to inclusion and independent living, thousands feel neglected. 8 million unpaid, overworked family carers, including children and elderly relatives, provide vital support.

Make the provision of all social care free to recipient as is the case for health care under the NHS.

A Service:
• That provides a new universal right to independent living
• Enshrined in law and delivered through a new National Independent Living Service co-created between government and service users

Consequences of marrying social care to the NHS include medicalisation, isolation, indignity, maltreatment, bringing social care under a struggling NHS umbrella is not the answer.

Transfer responsibility for funding social care from the LA to the national exchequer through progressive taxation.

Distribute funding to the LA’s for social care on the basis of the population served (age, sex and deprivation) and the cost of the care.

Locally democratic and designed by service users and carers in partnership with local authorities and the NHS, delivered as far as possible by service users.

Publicly, democratically run services, designed and delivered locally, co-productively involving local authorities, the NHS and service users, disabled people and carers.

Providing staff with nationally agreed training qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.

Fund social care to provide a pay rise of at least 35% to all care workers.

Giving informal carers the rights and support they need.

Conference resolves that within the first term of a new Labour Government to provide a universal system of social care and support based on a universal right to independent living.

Mover: Aylesbury CLP
Seconder: Newcastle Central CLP

(For the full text of both motions, see here, pp19-20)

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