“Labour’s plans for free personal social care, the refinancing of social care and a National Social Care Service are very ambitious. But if they are to break the chains of the past that have undermined modern social care, then they will need to couple this with further clear commitments.”

These will need to include some of:

  • Getting rid of means tests in social care
  • Basing social care on the same principles as the NHS; free at the point of delivery and funded from a progressive system of general taxation
  • No longer penalising disabled children, working age and older disabled people – they all need social care;
  • Ending the system that continue to force people into institutional care;

All this cannot be achieved in a day but the next government must commit itself to a vision for social care that restores such hopes and possibilities for the growing number of service users who should have the right to expect this.

By Professor Peter Beresford, who is the author of All our Welfare: Towards Participatory Social Policy, Policy Press. He is emeritus professor of social policy at Brunel University.

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