Synopsis

Austerity isn’t working. Frontline adult social care services have suffered enough. We oppose further cuts to frontline staff, day centres, and other vital services that are needed by some of the most vulnerable in our society. We will promote better multi-agency working and ensure that staff and clients in the care sector are well looked after by providing more time, more respite, and more support. We will work with the third sector, housing, health, and employers to make sure individual needs are at the centre of the care system, not targets or profits.

Policy

Health & Adult Social Care accounts for the largest proportion of Southampton City Council’s budget, but recent restructuring of Southampton’s social care, necessitated by Tory/Lib Dem spending cuts, has seriously affected front line services for those with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction and more.

The Green Party in Southampton opposes these cuts and believes that funding for adult social care should remain a priority. The Green Party knows that we are all interdependent and that many of us will need support at some stage in our lives. Our fundamental aim is that all people in Southampton should be able to lead an empowered and fulfilled life.

To fulfil this aim we will:

Act to ensure these vital services are properly funded by providing both a living wage for the vital carers and support services upon which quality care solutions so vitally depend, therefore ensuring full availability for those who need help. Specifically in this regard we shall:

  • Oppose further cuts to frontline staff.
  • Oppose the closure of vital day centre services throughout Southampton.
  • Promote local authority and third sector provision providers and resist further privatisation.
  • Ensure that the Southampton Safeguarding Adults Board is fully resourced in order to facilitate effective multiagency working to safeguard adults at risk in Southampton.

We further believe however that quality service provision is not a simple matter of money but depends crucially in a partnership between all of our service providers, together with those caring souls who provide help and support to neighbours, friends and relatives. To reflect this vision we further propose to:

  • Promote and facilitate an integrated approach to include colleagues from health 
    and the police.
  • Introduce a dedicated Learning Disabilities Team, with specially trained staff to work with clients to ensure they are empowered and that they can access support services.
  • Ensure effective information sharing between agencies.
  • Continue to fund and widen the scope of the Shared Lives scheme, which currently provides the means for adults with learning disabilities to live independent lives.
  • Ensure that full-time, unpaid carers have good access to respite.
  • Oppose the use of 15 minute care calls, and ensure that no client receives a home care call of less than 30 minutes.
  • Ensure that all service users are fully involved in decision making  around their own care, and ensure full compliance with the Mental Health Act.
  • Support the third sector to provide advocacy support for people in need,  and in the delivery of supplementary care and support.
  • Work with trade unions and employers to improve the conditions of care services and of care workers, many of whom are poorly paid.