Livability’s Changes for the Future Forum joined with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the launch for a national Care Covenant for England – ‘Care and Support Reimagined’.
Photo credit: Chris Rowe/Church of England
The Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care was set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York with the aim of developing a radical and inspiring vision for care and support in England, drawing on Christian theology and ethics. The Commission is committed to putting the voices and views of those with lived experience of care and support at the centre of its work and deliberations.
The Commission launched a Listening and Engagement Exercise in October 2021 and sought to reach people drawing on care and support, those who work in the sector, those who care for their relatives and friends, and the churches, voluntary organisations and other faith groups that support people in their local context.
Livability was invited to be part of the listening events, and members from the Changes for the Future Forum were involved in sharing their reflections on what good care and support means to them and how good support enables them to live the life they want to lead.
“Keeping the people we support at the heart of all we do is central to the way we work at Livability, so we were thrilled that the Changes for the Future Forum were invited to be such an integral part of the listening events. After all, if we are discussing a vision for care, how can we do that without those we support?
At Livability we know that the right support enables people with disabilities to thrive and live well. We want to change what’s unlivable and help people overcome barriers in their lives. We do that by including everyone fully, in ways of their choosing.”
Jane Percy, Executive Director for Care Operations
At the launch event, members of the forum shared a video which summarises what good care looks like to them. You can watch the video here:
Members of the Forum examine and discuss the support they receive. Made up of people Livability supports, and facilitated by the Quality Team the group discusses and makes decisions about topics that are important to them. Around 30 people have been nominated by their peers to be representatives in the forum. The forum is part of Livability’s commitment to co-production, so that people are actively involved in making decisions about the support they receive. Listening to and involving the people who matter, the people we support, is crucial to everything we do at Livability.
In the report ‘Care and Support Reimagined: a National Care Covenant for England’ the Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care has set out three actions to realise a new vision for care and support: rethinking attitudes to care and support, rebalancing roles and responsibilities; and redesigning the social care system.
The Commission calls for a National Care Covenant, developed through national dialogue, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of government, communities, families and individuals.
Key elements of the Covenant proposed by the Commission are:
The report argues that tackling negative attitudes to ageing and disability must be the starting point to reimagining care and support. Furthermore, the report makes radical recommendations for the redesigning the care system, with a long-term aspiration of making care and support a universal entitlement, including:
Welcoming the report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby (and Livability President) said:
‘This report gives me hope that we can rise to the challenge of fixing our broken social care system. Jesus Christ offers every human being life in all its fullness, and so we must broaden our understanding of care and support as the means by which everyone, regardless of age or ability, can experience abundant life. Rooted in the right values, the development of a National Care Covenant is a step towards this, where everyone is engaged in a collaborative effort to ensure that we can all access the care and support we need.’
Supporting the Covenant and the work it sets out to do, Tom from the Forum comments on what good care looks like to him:
‘Overall, care needs to be more person centred because a lot of structures around do not have that personal touch, so you don’t always feel like you can open up to someone. For me, I have to open up, know someone and trust them, that’s what needs to be more person centred, rather than fitting into the structure that is already there.’ When asked about his involvement in the listening events, Tom said: ‘It’s legitimately all about being included, not just because you are there, included and listened to – listening to what we have to say rather than “this is important” and finding out about it six months later…we’ve been included at the ground level, which is really important’.