Getting the right support
We want a future where everyone with a learning disability gets the right support at the right time
… A world where everyone receives enough support to stay healthy and do what they want to do. Whether that’s learning first aid, going on a boat ride, having a loving relationship, getting a job, or choosing when to get up or what to watch on TV
… A world where the people who support us are treated fairly and paid enough for the important work they do
Shaun’s story – the impact of challenges in social care
Shaun, from Bishop’s Stortford, is someone who really loves watching quiz shows on TV, meeting up with friends and going to the pub.
Shaun is also a person with a learning disability and is directly affected by ongoing challenges within the social care sector.
“Hft support me with medicine, my money, going out and managing my Parkinson’s,” he says, “but there are some big challenges in the wider social care sector which are impacting me and other people who have a learning disability.”
Firstly, he explains, a lack of funding in the system means providers are unable to pay staff a fair wage which reflects their skills and the cost of living.
“I have seen so many staff members come and go because they can get paid more elsewhere,” he says. “It’s really frustrating as the people who support me keep changing. I prefer it when they stay the same and I can get to know them.”
Shaun also knows that funding pressures can prevent people from receiving the support they need to live the life they choose. He really enjoys volunteering for the National Trust at Hatfield Forest but has had to fight to make sure the local authority will provide enough funding so Hft can continue to support him to do what he loves.
For these reasons, Shaun wants to see an increase in funding for social care so everyone can get the support they need and can do the things they want to do.
“I think it would be a good idea for MPs to spend a day in the life of a support worker and see first-hand the difficulties they face,” he says. “They would then understand better why social care is so important and why the government need to give more money so staff can be paid more.” Shaun thinks if social care salaries were higher, job retention would be much better as the increased funding would help organisations like Hft to attract more permanent staff who do such an important role. This would ensure everyone with a learning disability could get the support they need and ultimately live their best life possible.
Together we will call for:
- An end to unmet need in the social care system so everyone has enough support to be healthy and live how they choose
- Long-term funding for social care which is substantial enough to ensure that:
- providers can pay their invaluable workforce a fair wage which keeps up with the cost of living
- services are sustainable long into the future
- providers can plan and innovate, to ensure the way we are supported, and the options we have can improve