UK Social Care: Challenges Integrating Health and Social Care

Current Chief Executive of Care England

Why is this interview interesting?

  • The role the government plays in organizing the health and social care system
  • Potential solutions to the challenge of UK Social Care
  • How to motivate low paid workers
  • A values-based recruitment process and techniques to keep employees engaged

Executive Bio

Martin Green

Current Chief Executive of Care England

Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, the largest representative body for independent social care services in the UK. In 2012, in his role as Department of Health Independent Sector Dementia Champion, he led the development of the Dementia Care and Support Compact for The Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia. He is also a member of the Secretary Of State for Health's Stakeholder Board; a Dignity Commissioner; a Lambeth Transformation Commissioner; A member of the Nursing and Care Quality Forum; a Board member of the National Institute for Health Research (School of Social Care) and a founder trustee of The National Skills Academy for Social Care. In 2008 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Social Care in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours List. Read more

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Interview Transcript

Could you explain your role at Care England?

Care England is the largest representative body for social care providers. We have about 3,500 different services in our membership, the majority of which are older people’s services. About a third are for older people living with learning disabilities, as well as some brain injury and mental health units. We cover the whole of the social care sector, particularly residential social care.

What have been the core challenges in the sector that have led to bankruptcies such as Southern Cross in 2011 and Four Seasons more recently?

The issue is about funding. There is no proper and coherent funding level. We’ve just published some research identifying that there are many authorities paying less than £500 a week for social care. This equates to about £2.97 an hour to provide accommodation, care, and support on a 24-hour basis for people with dementia and other health conditions. This is totally unsustainable, and it really shows why there are difficulties within the sector around funding. If it weren’t for the funders who fund their own care at true cost, the sector would be totally unviable.

The sector’s underfunded, and there have been reports of private payers subsidizing public payers because of this issue. How do you look at your social responsibility as private equity-backed, independent care operators in the UK?

The social responsibility lies with the government. We have to get the government to understand the true cost of care. I reject the criticism of people bringing money into this sector. If it wasn’t for external investment, there would be no new services whatsoever. There has been no provision by the government in new buildings or services for about 30 years. This is now a system reliant on private practise and organizations putting in investment.

You lay the blame strictly on the government?

Absolutely. It is the government’s fault.

What has been the source of the issue?

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UK Social Care: Challenges Integrating Health and Social Care(January 16, 2020)

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