Before the Coronavirus pandemic took hold, the social care sector was in danger of being overlooked. It was the forgotten sector of the healthcare system, under-resourced and overstretched. A decade of austerity has resulted in underpaid, under-valued and over-worked staff, the majority of whom are women.
The scale of the pandemic left the sector badly exposed and its staff faced an uphill battle to cope with the high levels of infection. What’s more, they were sent into the frontline with insufficient training and inadequate PPE. In the circumstances, the care, love, time and attention that care home staff provided was a credit to their unsung profession. But such a situation should never have been allowed to develop, and Labour locally and nationally will campaign for a better deal for care workers and for those in their care.
The Labour Party will work for a better way forward in providing a system that gives dignity and respect to our most vulnerable and will ensure that workers in our public services are properly rewarded. Wiltshire Council must rethink social care to develop a professional, skilled, properly paid quality care service to meet the needs of elderly and vulnerable people in Wiltshire.
Pressure national government to properly fund adult social care in England.
Develop and implement a new Adult Social Care Strategy for Wiltshire to improve the
provision of care for elderly and vulnerable people.
Review the current out-sourcing of social care in Wiltshire and pilot in-house provision.
Ensure that care services include key worker support to disabled people, enabling
independent living choices.
Make Wiltshire Council an Ethical Care Council by signing up to Unison’s Ethical Care
Charter, paying care workers the living wage and ending the use of zero hour contracts.
Ensure that all care workers are properly equipped with PPE and every care home has a
robust system of infection control.
Raise the profile of care workers as “key workers” and raise the standards of training.
Fully acknowledge and improve the support provided to Wiltshire’s unpaid carers, including
mental health and well-being support.