The Campaign for Real Care was born in Barnet North London, through the work of Barnet Forum for Independent Living, a group of residents whose lives have been affected by social care. It has since expanded to involve others from across the UK.
Just as the NHS is driven by a vision of all having the best health medical provision of the day makes possible, so social care should be driven by a vision of all in need of care and support experiencing the best quality of life possible for them.
It is a political responsibility to firstly articulate the vision and then to fund meeting it to the best extent the nation’s finances make possible. It is a professional responsibility to firstly secure the greatest realisation of the vision for the greatest number of people in need within available resources, and then to inform the political system of the funding required for all to realise the vision.
The Care Act’s nine areas of wellbeing amount to a sound articulation of the vision for quality of life. Further, if a person is experiencing wellbeing as defined by the Act, they will also be experiencing independent living as defined by the United Nations. The key concept is being able to make ‘choices equal to others’, whether life changing choice such as one’s contribution to society or day to day choices such as when to go to bed and what to eat.
Individuals and professionals must work in partnership to identify all the needs the individual has to realise the vision for them and the best use of resources to do so. This is not possible if the professional has to shape ‘need’ to the available resource in the way required by the eligibility process. Eligibility of need must be replaced by the use of availability of resource to ensure spend is to budget.
In addition to the definition of wellbeing, the Care Act has all the provisions required to support delivery. The Care Act is not being delivered currently. However, this is not due to lack of resources as claimed by the sector. It is the result of dysfunctional national and local policy choices.
There are two arms to our campaign.
1. The REAL CARE TOOLKIT, freely available to all, to empower people to hold their Council to account. This includes;
developing their own self-assessment to Care Act requirements
asserting their self-assessment with the social worker
challenging the council if the person believes the council’s offer falls short of Care Act requirements
2. The political campaign:
We will seek every opportunity to inform and persuade of the need for systemic change according to our beliefs (listed above)
We will campaign alongside others for A National Care Service akin to the NHS. We believe the best way to know how much resource would be required for this, is by identifying need according to Wellbeing, supported by the Care Act 2014
We know change locally will only happen with change nationally. We will therefore seek every opportunity to share our local experiences in order to engage in national debates.
WHO WE ARE
I am a qualified social worker and experienced manager who has left full time employment.
Like many fellow professionals, I believed I did the best I could for the people I served within a system I knew to be fundamentally flawed. I have since worked independently to research and better understand what needs to happen to change the system for the better.
I have been an adult social care user for over 35 years and am the author of
The Lack of Care Act 2014: Service users’ perspectives of a failing adult social care system.
I am a designer and campaigner. I have a sister with autism and learning disabilities who has been an adult social care user her whole adult life. I also have long term health conditions.
I have witnessed first hand how the current social care system simply doesn't work.
I also have elderly parents who will need to access social care and I want to see a holistic system in place that puts people's wellbeing front and centre and trusts that people and those closest to them know what they need to achieve that wellbeing.
BEAU KING HOUSTON
I am a volunteer campaigner and I have dealt with various mental health struggles since I was a child. Until being introduced to this campaign, I had no idea about the Care Act (2014) or that I had any rights to access adult social care.
I want other people to feel the way I felt when I discovered my rights and undertook a Wellbeing Self Assessment. This campaign has the power to really change people's lives in a meaningful way and I want to shout it from the rooftops!