Care and Support Reimagined: A National Care Covenant for England

The Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care has set out three actions to realise a new vision for care and support: rethinking attitudes to care and support; rebalancing roles and responsibilities; and redesigning the social care system.

The Commission, which was launched by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in April 2021, calls for a National Care Covenant, developed through national dialogue, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of government, communities, families and individuals.

Key elements of the Covenant proposed by the Commission are:

• Investment in communities.
• A stronger role for the state.
• A new deal for unpaid carers.
• A commitment to our responsibilities as actively engaged citizens.

The report argues that tackling negative attitudes to ageing and disability must be the starting point to reimagining care and support. Furthermore, the report makes radical recommendations for redesigning the care system, with a long-term aspiration of making care and support a universal entitlement, including:

• Simplified assessment that leads to a guaranteed budget.
• People being trusted to manage their own care and decide what help they need.
• Independent advocacy to help people to access their rights and entitlements.
• The Commission recognises the lack of progress that has been made in implementing the proposals of previous high-profile reports, and highlights the need for a broad coalition – including politicians, faith communities, charities, and user-led organisations – to take action.

Its report is based on 18 months of listening and engaging with people who draw on care and support, unpaid carers, care workers, and organisations that provide and commission care, as well as experts.

SCIE’s Chief Executive, Kathryn Smith, said:
‘We welcome the Archbishop’s Commission report on reimagining care. We support the proposal for a new National Covenant. Having a public conversation about the value of care to society – and our collective responsibilities for care – is long overdue. We look forward to working with the public and partners in resetting the ambition for social care and redesigning a fairer and more just system’.

Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) welcomes the Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care and its publication, Care and Support Reimagined: a National Care Covenant for England. The report follows the Commission’s wide programme of engagement, including with VODG and individually with our members.

The report sets out the values central to reformed care and support, and VODG specifically welcomes the call for a new social contract for care and support.

Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive at the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, said,

‘Every day disabled people and their families continue to experience gaps in support, and with rising levels of unmet need, people are left in vulnerable circumstances. The new deal for unpaid carers, alongside a universal entitlement to care and support on par with the NHS, are all urgently required if we are to ensure disabled people’s care and support is not left behind. The work and recommendations of the Archbishops Commission are welcome at such a critical time for social care, in particular the call for a National Care Covenant.’

Responding to the report, Chief Executive of The Carers Trust, Kirsty McHugh said,
‘Today’s report from the Reimagining Care Commission is yet another vital call for reforming social care and providing a sorely needed new deal for the UK’s millions of unpaid family carers. The idea of a National Care Covenant with the aim of creating collective responsibility for a reimagined system enabling everyone to flourish is a welcome contribution to the debate. We are also pleased to see the commission recommending some crucial changes we have long called for, including access to breaks for carers, paid leave and an urgent review of Carer’s Allowance.

‘There’s an urgent need for a new deal for carers, with many being plunged into poverty. Our recent research found that nearly two-thirds of adult carers have been forced to cut back on work or give up their jobs entirely. Alongside adults, young carers are also facing huge pressures while local carer organisations are in dire need of support. We desperately need a UK-wide strategy for unpaid carers and call upon all parties to work together to develop a long term strategy for health and social care.’

//pardot tracking// //pardot tracking//