NPC makes the case for a National Care Service

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

The UK’s largest campaigning organisation for older people has launched a new report that details how a new National Care Service can heal our ailing care sector.

Working alongside the NHS, the new NCS will be high-quality, fully funded, and free at the point of need for all, with the service user at its heart.

The National Pensioners’ Convention, run for and by older people, consulted their membership on what they wanted to see as an all-round quality care service in response to the already serious failings of the country’s broken and chronically under-funded social care system. But the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the tragic toll it has taken on the oldest and most vulnerable in our society – nearly 20,000 deaths in care homes alone by June - has starkly exposed the urgent need for reform now.

The NPC’s Goodbye Cinderella report not only reveals the issues facing the care system, it also details what is required to instigate radical change. Through 15 comprehensive recommendations* it outlines a blueprint for a National Care Service that will meet the needs, not only of this generation and those to come, but will also be beacon for care everywhere. *(full list in main report).

NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said, “After everything the country has suffered through this horrific virus, the time has come to set aside years of procrastination over the reform of our ‘Cinderella’ care system that has been neglected, and starved of resources until it is on its knees.

“This report, the result of our specialist NPC Health and Care Working party, chaired by Dr Jean Hardiman-Smith, is the first serious step towards a national debate on genuine reform of our essential care services, which are just as important as our National Health Service, into an offering that is worthy of every one of us.

“The NPC is now inviting the Government to hold urgent cross-party talks, as promised by the Prime Minister in the Queen’s Speech, with the NPC and other stakeholders who support serious reform for the provision of care.”

Among the key proposals in the new report, which includes a Foreword by Professor David Oliver, former President of the British Geriatrics Society and a former National Clinical Director for Older Peoples Services, the NPC calls for:

• A national debate on a free to use, fully funded National Care Service that integrates health and social care provision by regulated providers.