Last reviewed 14 June 2022

The findings in a care providers’ 360° Social Care Debate White Paper report revealed that the term “service user” for a person receiving care is dehumanising, inferring that people are viewed as a commodity.

Launched at the Residential & Home Care Show at London’s ExCel Centre on 18 May, the White Paper is the result of a debate in March involving care home and home care providers, charities, recruiters, council staff, families and those needing care. Sixty people from across the social care sector discussed the challenges within the industry with the aim of helping everyone to understand timely issues facing social care from all points of view and helping identify what can be done to support those receiving, delivering and managing care.

Hosted by Tech company NDG Artificial Intelligence and Golddust Marketing, the debate suggested that, across the social care sector, the term “person receiving care” should be adopted instead.

The report revealed that, in response to the question “Do you have any worries about the future of social care?”, 100% of people receiving care said they had.

When asked if they use care technology, 50% of care workers and 80% of people receiving care said they do not.

When asked if the rising cost of living is affecting them, 100% of care workers and 80% of people receiving care said that it is.

The report recommended that all care workers be trained in treating people with dementia as a mandatory requirement.

It called for regulation to balance the cost of care, profit-making and reinvestment in social care, caps on agency fees and taking control away from local authorities to give “more people the freedom to choose their own care”.

It also called for a new care providers’ charter, whereby they agree to reinvest a certain percentage of profits into care and the business.

Recommendations included having “care sector ambassadors” in schools, colleges and universities to tackle the care recruitment and retention challenge, standardised pay scales, career progression across NHS and social care, staff bonuses and recognition programmes, and mandatory mental health and counselling support for all care workers.