Co-operatives can lead the way towards an “ownership revolution” in social care, says a report from the Co-operative Party.
The report, Taking Care: A Co-operative Vision for Social Care, argues that employee and service user ownership is crucial to addressing the crisis in social care provision – which was highlighted in a report from directors of adult social services, which revealed a funding gap of £930m for 2016/2017 across England.
Delegates at the Party’s annual conference in Cardiff discussed the issue as part of their policy debate on building secure and confident communities across the UK.
The main problems in the care sector were highlighted by vice chair Cheryl Barrott – a community worker and co-founder of Change Agents, a charitable community benefit society bringing together older people, practitioners and organisations.
“Social care is in crisis defined by the exploitation of workers, profiteering and lack of public investment,” she said, adding that care was not “transactional”.
The report calls for a “right to run” giving carers, those who receive care, and their families the chance to be represented on care company boards, ensuring that those with the most sophisticated understanding of good quality care are hardwired into corporate governance.
The Party is also proposing a right to own, which would ensure that carers, those receiving care and their families are given the right to take over their company if it is at risk of closure or is changing hands.
Claire McCarthy, general secretary of the Party, said: “The new Prime Minister wants to see employees on company boards. She is right – and private sector social care providers would be the perfect place to start.
“That is why the Co-operative Party is calling for a ‘Right to Run’ .
“Those who provide and rely on social care services have the knowledge and vested interest necessary to deliver good quality, cost-effective care.
“The best way to align those interests and knowledge is through the mutual ownership of care services, with care providers that are owned and run by care recipients and their families, care workers and the wider community.”
In this article
- adult social services
- Care in the Community
- care services
- Care work
- Claire McCarthy
- Co-operative Party
- General Secretary
- Health care
- Health promotion
- Health systems by country
- Primary care
- Prime Minister
- Social care in the United Kingdom
- social care services
- Social Issues
- United Kingdom
- United Kingdom
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