Churches call to reimagine care

Church leaders have called for a National Care Covenant in a landmark report produced by the Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care.

The commission set up by the Church of England began taking evidence in summer 2021 and urges the government to radically rethink the social care system.

A “reimagined” care system based on a National Care Covenant would involve more investment in communities, a stronger role for the state, a new deal for unpaid carers, and accepting mutual responsibility as active citizens volunteering time and paying taxes sufficient to fund adequate care.

The report says that people receiving care and support should be viewed as “having agency rather than seen as objects of pity” and that the system should enable people to live the best lives they can.  Simplified assessments should lead to guaranteed personal budgets, people should be trusted to manage their own care, and independent advocacy should be available to help people access their rights and entitlements, it adds.

Dr Anna Dixon, chair of the Archbishops’ Commission, said: “Our reimagined vision for care and support puts relationships at the centre and encourages us to think about how social care can enable everyone to live well.

“This is no time for tinkering around the edges of a social care system that for too long has left people who draw on care and support feeling marginalised, carers feeling exhausted and undervalued, a system which provides no clarity about what is expected of each of us.

“A National Care Covenant, with its focus on the mutual responsibilities, will help us to work together towards our common goal.”