Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, visited MHA Bradbury Grange care home in Whitstable to give a New Year’s address ahead of the publication of a new vision document for care.
The vision document will be published on Tuesday 24 January and will be called Care and Support Reimagined. It has been commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and offers a new vision for social care in which everyone can flourish, regardless of age or ability.
Dr Anna Dixon MBE, chair of the Archbishops’ Commission said the report will seek to address some of the long-standing challenges affecting social care and set out a hopeful vision of what care and support could and should be like.
“We cannot simply tinker around the edges of the existing social care system. We need a new settlement that gives choice and control to people who draw on care and support, equips and empowers communities, and offers far greater support and recognition to unpaid carers.”
The Co-Chair of the Commission the Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, said: “We are making the case, rooted deeply in our Christian convictions and values, that our whole understanding of social care should reflect the aspirations of people who draw on care and support, paid and unpaid carers, and wider society.
In his address the Archbishop tackled the key issues affecting care home services. He said: “This past year, we came together to mourn and celebrate, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I met many people from all over the world who queued to pay their respects. People looked out for each other day and night.
“It’s one thing to do that for a few hours, another when we need to give or receive care day after day. Then we all need help.
“Care homes are struggling too. Bills have risen; hiring and keeping staff is a challenge. Why work as a carer when you might get paid more in less demanding jobs? Caring’s not easy. Good carers are wonderful people to be valued.
“We know our care system is broken: but it doesn’t have to be. We can rise to the challenge of fixing it. That means action from all of us; you, me, families, communities and government.
“Caring goes to the heart of what it means to be human. It’s hard, but it can also be the most life-giving thing we ever do. It comes back to that essential lesson: we need each other.”