Demos has partnered with two leading charities, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Leonard Cheshire Disability, to create A Constitution for Social Care. As the government plans an overhaul of social care in 2009, we wished to investigate a series of outstanding issues and fundamental flaws in the current system.
The twenty-first century will witness huge demographic and societal changes—with an ageing population, and needs becoming evermore complex, care for the elderly and disabled must be transformed. The twin focus on personalisation and reforming the way the system is funded offers an excellent opportunity to build a better system. It is vital at this time, and throughout the whole process, that the views of users themselves remain central.
Bearing this in mind, we undertook research designed to enable disabled people with social care needs to tell us how they thought the system needs to change. Our research centred around five workshops which gathered together over fifty disabled people and their carers.
We supplemented this qualitative work with in-depth seminars with two local authorities to work through the practical implications of our findings.
Our research culminates in A Constitution for Social Care, which seeks to define a fair settlement between social care users and society. It lays out the rights and responsibilities between service users (current and future) vis-à-vis the rest of society. It defines what users can expect from the system and what they should commit to, in exchange. The findings from the five workshops and local authority meetings fed directly into the constitution and formed the backbone of the entire research process.
The accompanying report goes into much more detail on project rationale, methodology, funding calculations and conclusions.
A Constitution for Social Care sets out a fair settlement between social care users and society.