Social Care Institute for Excellence and Dunhill Medical Trust launch new Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support

A new commission has been set up to develop an evidence-based vision and roadmap for housing in the future of care and support. It will review progress of the 2014 Commission on Residential Care’s [1] recommendations, taking account of COVID-19, and will consider all forms of housing services that provide care and support including care homes, nursing homes, supported living, extra care, shared lives and home share.    

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on social care. By June 2020, there had been 30,500 excess deaths in care homes, and social care workers have been almost twice as likely to die from the virus as other adults. The impact on older people living alone and without support is yet to be seen.

COVID-19 has served to amplify pre-existing challenges in social care: a crisis in the funding system, unprecedented recruitment and retention problems, and rising demand as people are living longer but not necessarily healthier lives.

We must not let this commission be another “talking shop”, we must focus on “action”. Lessons learnt during the pandemic suggest we all need to reflect on what we can do to better meet the needs of frail older people – same old, is not good enough

Professor Julienne Meyer CBE

As SCIE argued in its recent position paper Beyond COVID-19: new thinking on the future of social care, this has also been a period when good things have happened; not only in local communities where we have seen people’s willingness to help one another, but also within social care where the workforce has shown immense resilience, leadership, and creativity.

Later this year we expect to see a long-term plan for adult social care published, which presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put social care on a sustainable and secure footing. We want to influence this work by positively raising the profile of social care and asking pertinent questions about the role of housing in the future of care and support.

The Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support is funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, and will be led by SCIE. The Commission will revisit the findings of the 2014 Commission to explore their relevance in view of COVID-19; examine progress with their implementation; and, based on the lived experience of people who use services, carers and providers, will make recommendations and proposals to enable much-needed change. The Commission will also work with the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) to assess the financial impact of COVID on the provision of care and what this means for the future of the sector and for people who use services.

The Commission will be chaired by Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Chair of SCIE and former Minister of State for Care Services (2010-12); David Pearson CBE, Independent Advisor and former Chair of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce; and Professor Julienne Meyer CBE, Professor Emerita of Nursing: Care for Older People at City, University of London and Co-founder of My Home Life.

Good housing with care is at the heart of having a good quality of life. But we know that the sector, and particularly care homes, are under severe pressure and that many will struggle to survive. In our recent report Beyond COVID-19, we argue that as well as ensuring we develop nursing and care home provision we can be proud of, we invest in a broader range of housing with care and support options, such as extra care and supported living, so that choice is maximised. This new Commission will gather the evidence we need to develop a clear vision for how we can deliver this

Rt Hon Paul Burstow

Guided by an appreciative approach, the Commission will:

  • explore the financial impact of COVID-19 on the care home market
  • co-produce with the sector and people with lived experience and their families/carers, a compelling, evidence-based, long-term vision for the role of housing in the future of care and support, including care homes, extra care, supported living and shared lives.
  • recommend policy changes to inform the Government’s thinking on the long-term plan for social care
  • develop a roadmap to support the implementation of this new vision
  • consider how we can fund and test proposals for innovative models of care and support with sustainable financial schemes

The other Commissioners are:

  1. Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive Officer, Anchor Hanover
  2. Dr José Luis Fernández, Director and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics
  3. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England
  4. Edel Harris, Chief Executive, Mencap
  5. Richard Jones CBE, Chair of Board for Shared Lives Plus 
  6. Julie Ogley, Immediate Past President, Association of Directors Adult Social Services 
  7. Professor Alison Petch OBE, Chair, The Dunhill Medical Trust 
  8. Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive, Housing LIN 
  9. Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum 
  10. Dr Ossie Stuart, Trustee, Social Care Institute for Excellence 
  11. Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive, Nursing and Midwifery Council 
  12. Dr Jane Townson, Chief Executive Officer, United Kingdom Homecare Association 
  13. Michael Voges, Executive Director, Association of Retirement Community Operators 
  14. Emma Williams, Relatives and Residents Association 

The Commission will report twice; first through an interim position paper at the end of the autumn with the aim of influencing Government thinking on the long-term plan, and again in spring 2021 when it will provide a more detailed plan of action for the social care sector to consider.

A test of any country is the degree to which it supports and enables those who need care and support to stay safe and to lead the best lives they can. Excellent housing with care – including care homes, supported living, extra care and the many other models – is at the heart of supporting people to live the best lives they can. I am excited to be asked to co-chair this important commission. I hope that the work we do can inform future policy and practice for years to come

David Pearson CBE

For more information visit SCIE Housing and care