Together Social Care
UK social care provision is failing on every level. It’s failing the vulnerable, failing families, and failing the taxpayer. There are now over 9 million unpaid family carers picking up the pieces of our crumbling health and care sectors. The situation is unsustainable. For a summary of the issues impacting the sector, watch the presentation given by Together Social Care Chair, Amanda Hunter, at our second anniversary event in September 2023:
Why it matters
The dire state of our social care sector is a problem for us all – not just one that impacts the elderly and others in current need of care support. We all benefit from a functioning care system, regardless of whether we personally need to draw on its support services.
The legacy of lockdown
While underinvestment is a problem, so too is budget mismanagement. Throwing money at the problem will not resolve the decades-long policy failures that continue to blight the sector, nor will it overcome the legacy of Lockdown and the UK government’s myopic policy response to the pandemic. The system was broken long before Covid struck and will need more than an injection of cash to save it from collapse.
What can be done?
How can we begin to navigate our way out of the current crisis? What steps can we take in the here and now to inspire and drive future change? This is what the Together Social Care Cabinet Workgroup has been tasked to investigate.
Our campaign team is busy behind the scenes, identifying the problems and exploring solutions. We recognise that the system requires a revolution in the manner it is organised, delivered, peopled, and regulated if it is to provide our elderly and vulnerable citizens with the person-centred, dignified care they deserve. However, we also recognize we need you, the public, to help us explore solutions, lobby for, and deliver change.
How you can get involved
Will you join us? If you are interested in being part of the solution, please sign up for our fortnightly care letter outlining next steps and how YOU can get involved. And don’t forget to watch our first online event, “Who Cares?” dedicated to the plight of unpaid carers:
Adult Social Care Services: exposing Social Service failings and abuses
The team is gathering evidence on the multiple failings of Local Authority Social Services across the UK. We are also investigating State overreach and the way various State bodies are working together to exert undue control over individuals and families drawing on adult social care services. Our aim is to bring these failings to wider public attention by building a body of evidence that we can then present to Parliament and use to lobby for radical reform.
Care Home Neglect and Abuse:
The team is gathering evidence to expose the abuse and neglect of care and nursing home residents. The sector, which embraces children’s homes and adult care facilities, is in urgent need of reform, yet neither Labour nor the Conservatives have concrete plans to address the endemic problems within the system, many of which have been decades in the making.
Our initial aim is to work with other campaign groups to produce a damning dossier of cases that we can present to Parliament and the media. We intend to use our evidence to heighten public awareness of the scale of neglect and abuse and mobilize the public to lobby for urgent reform.
Our health and social services are on the brink of collapse, leaving the vulnerable dependent on extortionate bare-bones private provision or, increasingly, on families and informal networks of care support. Unpaid and unsupported, family carers are at breaking point, with many forced to give up work altogether to provide essential care.
We believe our elderly and vulnerable citizens deserve better, as do their struggling families. In July 2023, the Together social Care team hosted an online event to discuss the plight of unpaid carers and initiate an action plan to help relieve families of their burden. You can watch this important debate and find out how you can get involved here.
If you are an unpaid carer or want to be part of the solution, please get in touch with us via our contact form. We’d love to hear from you.
Visiting rights – care homes and hospitals
Together believes that there should be no State-imposed restrictions on the right of care home residents, patients, and their families to have regular and meaningful contact. The visiting bans and restrictions introduced during Lockdown, inflicted untold harm on the elderly and vulnerable, many of whom died prematurely as a result. We must never again allow the State to limit our family rights and freedoms.
Unacceptable precedents were set during the Covid pandemic, and these are continuing to impact visiting rights. Sadly, far too many providers are reluctant to give up the powers afforded them during the pandemic and are continuing to restrict family access without legitimate reason – either to reduce workloads, or as punishment when families raise concerns about substandard care.
Together is not assured by the new regulations on visiting introduced in December by the Department of Health and Social Care. We do not believe the provisions go far enough to protect visiting rights. Nor do we believe that the Government body entrusted to ensure these limited rights are upheld – the Care Quality Commission – will meet the challenge. We believe primary legislation will need to be introduced to ensure visiting rights are protected.
End of Life Protocols
The Together Social Care team has a dedicated group working together to expose the barbaric NHS protocols and practices that were largely responsible for sending thousands of elderly and vulnerable citizens to premature graves during the pandemic. These protocols (NG163 and subsequently NG191) were routinely applied in the case of elderly and vulnerable patients presenting with Covid symptoms in our hospitals and care homes.
Watch recordings of our recent discussions on the issue below:
As NHS whistleblowers, including palliative care consultants, have confirmed to Together, it is not only NG163 and NG191 protocols that are responsible for sending thousands to early graves. As campaigners have long suspected, the notorious Liverpool Care Pathway, supposedly outlawed in 2014, had been going on under the radar for years. During the Lockdown years, when families were shut out of care homes and hospitals, evidence suggests these practices went on steroids..
Excess deaths: then and now
As with other precedents introduced during the lockdown years, it is becoming increasingly evident that the NICE ‘end of life’ protocols introduced in response to Covid 19, are still being used in our hospitals and care facilities and are likely responsible for many of the excess deaths we are seeing among the elderly and vulnerable. The Together Social Care team believes these protocols are barbaric, inhumane, and must be stopped
If you suspect a loved one may have been impacted by these protocols, or you feel as outraged as we are about the way our elderly and vulnerable were and continued to be denied life-saving care and treatment, please reach out to us via our contact form in the first instance. We would love to hear from you.
The Together Social Care Team