SCIE is leading a new commission to develop an evidence-based vision and roadmap for housing in the future of care and support.

Funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, the Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support will review progress of the 2014 Commission on Residential Care’s recommendations, taking account of COVID-19, and will consider all forms of housing services that provide care and support including care homes (both residential and nursing) and housing with care (supported living, extra care, shared lives and home share).

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 Rt Hon Paul Burstow

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.

As SCIE argued in our 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.

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 David Pearson CBE

Later this year we expect to see a long-term plan for 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 Dunhill Medical Trust is an independently endowed charitable foundation specialising in supporting researchers and community organisations to understand the mechanisms of ageing and improve the health and social care of older people. 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.

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.

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
Julienne Meyer, CBE