“The Archbishops Commission on Reimagining Care is far sighted and far reaching. In the context of demographic and social change, it calls for a national act of imagination as well as a commitment to renewed values and purpose to reset adult social care at the heart of our communities. This will involve both redefining and rebalancing the roles, relationships and responsibilities we hold as we care, together, for each other.
What makes the report different from the many other reports cited, is that it is located within a spiritual and pastoral commitment to care centred on life in all its fullness. A ‘national covenant’, rooted in mutual responsibility and kindness as members of a community, can frame a new awareness and an approach which requires a conscious recognition of how adult social care can enable everyone to live out their best lives. That is the message that comes through in the words and experience of so many people who took part in the making of this report.
That means investment in people and communities, and the compassionate, skilled workforce evident across adult social care. The clear thinking, and the practical and urgent changes that are needed, for example for unpaid carers as we identified in the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee, will bring new energy as we look to redesign a service which serves so many and which at the moment, is so badly served itself.”
Chair of the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee
“I welcome this report as an important contribution to how we, as a whole society, enable those who may need care and support to lead lives that are flourishing.; The theology that underpins this report about each human being made in the image of God, as well as our role as a community showing loving-kindness is an encouragement for churches and faith groups to be involved in engaging in some of the actions that will help to make the vision of this report a reality. We at the Church Urban Fund, through resources such as Growing Good and Places of Welcome, look forward to working with churches and other organisations to make our communities more aware of and responsive to the needs of others.”
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Church Urban Fund
“The Reimagining Care Commission have set out a range of proposals that are based in the Christian values of dignity, respect and interdependence. This report reminds us all that we live within communities and that people who have support needs have equal value with every other citizen, and are entitled to the same dignity, respect and recognition. The power of this report lies in the fact that it challenges society's attitudes to people who need support, and offers a new vision for how we rebalance roles and responsibilities, and redesign our current system to make it accessible and appropriate to the needs of every citizen. I hope that the publication of this report will offer an opportunity for everyone to rethink their approach to care and support and move away from the current obsession with the organisations and processes, and start to focus on people and outcomes.”
Professor Martin Green OBE
Chief Executive, Care England
“We welcome the important contribution this report makes to the on-going debate on social care. Its starting point, which grounds the discussion in our common humanity, the value of all our lives and our right to lead our best life, are fundamental principles that should underpin re-shaping social care. The centrality of disabled people of all ages being enabled to lead full and active lives and determine the shape of our care and support, echoes longstanding calls from the Disabled people’s movement for us to be at the table when services are designed and to have choice and control over the care and support we receive. We welcome the report’s recognition that there should be parity across health and care services and that access to care should be a universal right.”
Head of Policy, Disability Rights UK
“Inter-dependence is an essential part of the human condition and finding this truth at the heart of a re-visioning of social care is more than welcome. This report demands meaningful change, to which ‘relationships are vital’, and in which physical, emotional and spiritual needs are all equally recognised. Based on Christian belief that every individual is a gift to their community, bringing purpose and meaning to other’s lives, the resulting proposals for a paradigm shift in policy and practice that ‘enables relational care’ is refreshing and realistic. Social care based on mutuality and trust empowers all involved. It facilitates contribution, self-worth and flourishing; it recognises the prophetic possibility of care-giving with love ‘at its heart’ and also the financial and societal value of care and support being de-coupled from individual ability to pay.”
Jenny Kartupelis MBE
Author of ‘Making Relational Care Work for Older People’
“The Commission’s report provides a ‘tour de force’ on how and why we should be reimagining care in the 21 century. Grounded in a strong set of core values, at its foundation is the importance of the whole person and access to an architecture of compassionate and universal care and support that enables us all to flourish in an environment that cares. And, reinforcing the earlier findings of the Archbishops’ Housing Commission, I applaud the call for more adaptable and accessible homes - as well as innovations in technology-enabled care and smart housing – to meet our needs and lifestyle aspirations. I passionately believe these are essential to ensure that all our homes and neighbourhoods are fit for a ‘care-ready’ future.”
Jeremy Porteus FRSA
Chief Executive, Housing Learning and Improvement Network
“The Commission has brought together a valuable vision of care. This has been framed in the language of a covenant, a powerful metaphor that aims to put an end to the notion of ‘othering’ with social care. It challenges each and everyone of us to think about what we contribute, as well as what we might receive. I strongly believe that social care matters to us all. There is nothing more powerful than the transformation that great social care can have on supporting people to flourish and live life to the full, and everyone of us, in every community, has a part to play in making this happen. The commission does not rest on words. It paints a picture of a society where a care covenant is central to all our relationships. Demanding a dynamic combination of the things that must change now and a long term collaborative commitment which must be underpinned by principles, resources, determination and, most importantly, people.”
Professor Vic Rayner OBE
CEO, National Care Forum
“As people with lived experience it was so refreshing to be asked what we would reimagine care and support to be, and I’m really proud my team were able to contribute. At SeeAbility, our mission is to help people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss live, love, thrive and belong. That’s what the right support can do. The report is full of ideas that change is possible despite the problems social care faces, and that can give all of us hope.”
Scott Watkin BEM
Head of Engagement, SeeAbility
“The Archbishops’ Commission is a welcome and practical intervention in the ongoing struggle to secure desperately needed reform for social care. The Commission is right that we need a fundamental shift in how we think of social care if we want to see the meaningful change needed to address the growing numbers of people going without the support they need to go about their daily lives.
Too often social care reform has been framed around the costs rather than the benefit and pivotal role it plays in a functioning society. Where other countries have been able to make successful changes, it is because they have built upon a positive vision and foundations for a fair system.
With the delay to reforms which had been announced, there has been a loss of momentum which had built up to improve the system. The Commission itself recognises this lack of progress. There is an urgent need to bring about wholesale reform to our broken care system so we hope these proposals bring social care back into the government’s focus.”
Deputy Director of Policy, Nuffield Trust
“How we look after our elderly and vulnerable as life expectancy extends and science can support those who live with disabilities in ways previously unimaginable is one of the great challenges of our times. This report shows how, inspired by religious values, new thinking and practical solutions can be brought to this debate. We urge decision-makers to engage in this report and consider its recommendations.”
Marie van der Zyl
President of the Board of Deputies
“I welcome the findings of the Commission, which yet again highlight the need for urgent reform of the adult care sector. The Commission recognises that without this reform, we will continue to have a fragmented system. Report after report over decades have highlighted how reform is needed yet, when we thought reform was starting in 2021, the Government halted it with no plans on when it might start again. It is time for the Government to engage with care providers and find out from them exactly what is needed.
All of us have a part to play in supporting older people and making sure they are put at the heart of decisions affecting them. Great care and support enables older people to live later life well, something we should all aspire towards.
The idea of a National Care Covenant suggested by the Commission would mean we all work together to make sure no one is left behind in their need for care when it is most needed, whether that is in their own home or a care home. The Commissioners visited MHA Moor Allerton in Leeds and saw for themselves how caring for the spiritual needs of people can make a real difference to their lives, highlighting this as an example in their report. We are proud of the work of our chaplaincy team which means we can truly say that at MHA we care for the mind, body and spirit.”
Chief Executive, Methodist Homes (MHA)
“This report is another important and helpful contribution to the conversation around adult social care. The Archbishops’ Commission rightly highlights the importance of shifting the narrative on ageing and disability, as well as building better attitudes towards social care and the people who draw on it.
It also brings to light the importance of people being trusted to manage their own care and decide what help they need. We support the recommendations of the report, particularly the need for investment in communities.
Social care needs urgent support and funding, so that pressures can be addressed and councils can deliver on all of their statutory duties and ensure people of all ages can live an equal life.”
Cllr David Fothergill
Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board
‘We are happy to hear that care and support is a priority for the Archbishops’. With a social care system currently at breaking point, facing a perfect storm of growing demand and severe staffing shortages, we welcome the long-term vision of Care and Support Reimagined.
Whilst the Government has attempted social care reform in the short-term, most recently with its announcement of an extra £250m to pay for care home beds, there has been little to no meaningful reform that adequately addresses the long-term challenges facing our sector. The Archbishops’ Commission’s long-term vision is therefore both refreshing and necessary to ensure the sustainability of our sector.
The report highlights the significant 55% increase in vacancies in our sector in just one year – a statistic that will likely only improve with funding to cover a wage which accurately reflects the complexity and skill of work in our sector. Currently, care providers are caught in the middle because they are beholden to cash-strapped local authorities for funding, making any competitive rise in staff pay almost impossible.”
The Archbishops’ report also focuses on the negative attitudes people receiving care and support, including adults with a learning disability, might face, highlighting that such attitudes are a barrier to meaningful change.’
“We have all the evidence and many of the steps we need – lets work together for all our ‘Good Lives’. We welcome the Reimagining Care Commission report and the principles of trust, empathy, inclusion and human flourishing. The inquiry report calls for a ‘fundamental and comprehensive redesign of care and support’ that includes those principles.
For many people with learning disabilities and their families there are extra barriers to them living their Good Lives but the 3 actions the inquiry suggests including rethinking attitudes would go a long way to the shared vision of flourishing, gloriously ordinary or Good Lives.”
Scott Watkin and Kate Chate
Learning Disability England Representative body members
“Anna Chaplaincy welcomes the fresh thinking on this vitally important issue. The first step towards improvement is always acknowledging what is wrong. The admission that the current system of social care is “broken” echoes what’s been said by successive governments for three decades. I hope very much that those with power to change the way social care operates will rise to the challenge of the complete “redesign” of the system outlined in this report. Much careful thought has gone into exploring those Christian principles underpinning the vision for a far more humane system. We can’t afford not to make social care more efficient from top to bottom because every citizen in time stands to benefit and each one of us will be impoverished if, yet again, the opportunity for far-reaching reform slips by.”
Pioneer, Anna Chaplaincy
“We are delighted to be involved in the Commission on Reimagining Care, enabling unpaid carers to share their experiences and the challenges they face directly. It is clear in the evidence provided to the Commission that many are exhausted, overlooked and stretched to the limit.
The proposed New Deal recognises these challenges, and how restorative breaks, better funding and a change in approach could support unpaid carers, especially those with demanding roles, to take time out to look after their own health and wellbeing. Many carers feel that Carer’s Allowance does not come anywhere close to helping them manage financially while caring for 35 hours or more a week, and we would welcome a review of the benefit.
We look forward to shining a light on the best practice for supporting carers in England and we urge the Government to implement the elements of this New Deal so that unpaid carers have the fulfilling life that they need and deserve.”
Emily Holzhausen OBE
Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK
“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.
Current funding and the lack of investment in social care workers pay by central government is depleting the numbers of people and their skills and experience prepared to work in social care. Without concerted action in the Spring Budget to uplift care workers' pay, the risks to the sustainability of services, and the provision of high quality and safe care will remain real and ever present.”
Dr Rhidian Hughes
Chief Executive, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group
“The report highlights a key fault in foundations of social care, that it is largely commissioned by hours and not by outcomes. The rigid allocation of hours without the focus on the wide ranging benefit they can deliver fails to give scope to social care providers, whose goal is not having people depend on us but to work alongside the people who draw on support to achieve fulfilling lives.
This is not just about a change in language but a call for systemic change, and one that is co-produced with people drawing on social care. As the report rightly points out, tinkering around the edges is no longer an option. United Response continues to call for investment and renews their call for pay parity between social care and NHS staff in 2023.”
Politics and Pubic Affairs Lead, United Response
“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 re-setting the ambition for social care and redesigning a fairer and more just system.”
Chief Executive, Social Care Institute for Excellence
“It is a sorry state of affairs when the Church feels the need to intervene in the state of care. But this welcome contribution from the Archbishops’ Commission must be a wake-up call to the Government on the crisis in social care. We particularly welcome the report’s call for a universal entitlement to care – regardless of wealth and income and also its call for a national tariff of care charges – things we have been campaigning for now for decades.
The report echoes what those of us delivering care have been saying: that we need urgent, bold reform, as set out in our own Five Pillars for Social Care Reform document. We would urge the Government to heed the words of the Archbishops’ Commission and begin that reform straight away.”
Chair, Independent Care Group
“We welcome the goal for such a reimagining towards the goal of an equal life for all, a renewed focus on self-directed support, and a major effort to shift public attitudes to underpin change.”
Social Care Future
“The vision set out in Reimagining Care is a powerful reminder of what care could and should be. The system urgently needs investment from the Government. Without this, we risk abandoning people with a learning disability and letting down a passionate, skilful workforce.”
“The findings recognise that there is no magic formula, but an opportunity for a Social Care Covenant, to work together, taking a lead from those most affected to create a hopeful vision of what care could look like
As well as painting a hopeful vision for the future, the report translates the recommendations into clear areas for action based on three key themes. These actions require a radical shift in the way that everyone thinks about and delivers care – it’s a shared responsibility and whatever our beliefs and background this report is a welcome and unifying call to action for a better future, where we all have a role to play. We recognise that more needs to happen to ensure everyone has the opportunity of a good life and we will commit to working with the Commission and to continue working with partners to play our part in making this happen.”
CEO, Community Catalysts