Abbeyfield is joining other National Care Forum members to Speak Up for Care because we believe that social care needs to be the top priority at the General Election on 4th July 2024.

As not-for-profit care providers we need the next government to address the issues in the social care system and start listening to our united voices because together the adult social care sector represents around 50% of the electorate who will be voting in the election; that’s around 23 million people.

We need the next government to address the key areas that will enable people to get the care when they need, where they need it and how they need it:

  • Improve the pay, terms and conditions of the workforce with a workforce plan and dedicated funding.
  • Help the public improve its understanding of the value of social care so it has the same status as the NHS in the public imagination.
  • Create a National Care Covenant that guarantees the rights and choice of people in their own care, allows them to be a fundamental part of designing a new system as well as ensuring people have access to care when, where and how they need it irrespective of where they live.
  • Encourage more care providers to adopt a not-for-profit business model and work with regulators and commissioners to prioritise ethical and transparent not-for-profit care.
  • Create an economic growth strategy for adult social care which recognises that social care is a large employer contributing £55.7bn to the English economy, making it an essential part of the national infrastructure.
  • The most important of the above is that the next government improves the pay, terms and conditions of the people delivering care. Coupled with this, care workers must receive professional recognition, esteem and parity of opportunity with the NHS.

A long-term plan for the social care workforce that aligns with the NHS workforce plan is long overdue. Implementing this, together with the introduction of professional registration for care workers will help them feel more valued and create stability in the sector which is ravaged by recruitment and retention issues. This must all be backed by dedicated funding.

We need the support of our communities to make social care, and specifically the workforce challenges we face, a doorstep issue this general election and get candidates to show us that social care is something they care about. To do this, you can join us as we speak up for care.

There are various ways you can help do this:

  • Write to your local MP and /or prospective parliamentary candidate and raise the issues affecting the care sector in your constituency.
  • Share your story about the fantastic care you or a loved one has received to highlight our wonderful carers and post on social media using the hashtag #speakupforcare.
  • Speak to your local newspaper and tell them your care story.
  • Follow the hashtag #speakupforcare on social media, and share, comment on and like the posts.