Delivering a high-quality care system

If the Prime Minister is serious about delivering real change for social care, he should look to councils for inspiration. 

Despite £8 billion of budget cuts and growing demand, local authorities are providing the leadership and innovation this current government sadly lacks. 

Labour councils have long called for a radical shift in support towards prevention to help keep older and disabled people living independently and well at home. 

They know this is better for the people who use care, and provides better value for taxpayers’ money.

The best councils also know real change means ensuring older and disabled people are co-producers of their own support, not just ‘consumers’ of care.

The Labour Party nationally backs these efforts. We understand that social care is about far more than help with getting up, washed, dressed and fed. It is about ensuring we can all live in the place we call home, with the people we love, in communities that look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us. 

The brilliant group Social Care Future has pioneered this vision, and it’s one a future Labour government will deliver. 

The Conservatives’ NHS and social care levy, and £86,000 cap on care costs, won’t fix the crisis in social care, let alone deliver this broader vision. 

Their proposals won’t provide any additional resources for social care now, and there’s no guarantee of extra funding in future. 

It won’t deliver a single extra minute of care and support, or improve the quality of life for care users, tackle spiralling staff vacancies, or do anything for unpaid family carers. 

“A new deal for care workers is essential to tackling vacancies

The only guarantee is an unfair and punishing tax rise on frontline care workers, providers and councils, who are already stretched to the limit. 

In contrast, Labour would deliver a 10-year plan of investment and reform, increasing access to care, so all older and disabled people get the right support, when and where they need it. 

We will shift focus towards prevention, taking a ‘Home First’ approach that brings care workers, district nurses and other staff into one team, so people don’t have to battle their way around the system.

This includes expanding the use of home adaptations and technology, and working with community groups to provide early help with things such as shopping, cleaning, and tackling isolation. 

Half of the budget and a third of the users of social care are working-age adults with disabilities. 

Labour will champion independent and fulfilling lives for disabled people, including through more effective direct payments and personal budgets, and ensuring disabled people’s views drive change.

A new deal for care workers is essential to tackling soaring vacancies, meeting the aspirations of staff and improving the quality of care. 

Labour will deliver the pay, training, and terms and conditions care workers deserve, and ensure they are equally as valued as their NHS colleagues. 

Finally, we will transform support for England’s 11 million unpaid family carers, so they get proper information, advice and breaks, and more flexibility at work so they can better balance their work and family life.

In the century of ageing, a universal, high-quality care system is central to a modernised welfare state. 

Working with everyone in the sector – and side by side with the people who use care – this is what a Labour Government will deliver.


EV charging for disabled drivers

Some notable successes