In June 2022 Councillor Ruth Milsom was instrumental in Sheffield Council’s adoption of the GMB union’s Ethical Home Care Charter. The charter sets policy direction for the Council, through which Ruth is helping ensure that fair pay and better working conditions are at the heart of homecare delivery.

The Charter’s recommendations to councils to end ‘time and task’ delivery and move instead to block commissioning are fundamental to delivering person-centred care based on need. Sheffield is also adopting a geographical commissioning model that sees a service provider allocated to one area of the city, eliminating unhealthy competition between private companies, and fostering a collaborative culture in the best interests of all residents. It also allows the Council to deliver carbon reduction measures by minimising travel for care workers. Furthermore, it develops added value to care by encouraging carers to work in their own locality, bringing knowledge about services and activities available to people on their doorstep.

Motion proposed to, and adopted by Sheffield City Council, 1st June 2022

Proposed by Cllr George Lindars-Hammond; seconded by Cllr Ruth Milsom

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

(a)      believes that over a decade of national government inaction has created a social care crisis, which is simply unacceptable for such a rich nation;

(b)      believes that we should aspire to make Sheffield the best city to grow old in, but that the Government’s failure to fund social care means that many do not get the care they should;

(c)      believes that our homecare workers do vital and amazing work helping our most vulnerable residents, in a job which continues to be incredibly difficult and we must do everything we can to support them;

(d)      reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that care workers are given the respect, pay and conditions they deserve and that, ultimately, this is the right thing to do for workers and will ensure a far better care service for clients;

(e)      calls for the GMB Ethical Commissioning Charter 2022 to be fully endorsed, including aiming for the following:-

(i)       committing to a block delivery model of commissioning and ending the culture of ‘Time & Task’ in home care delivery;

(ii)       committing that the job evaluated rate of pay at Sheffield City Council should be a benchmark and the ultimate goal for pay in commissioned care; this must drive the journey to increasing the value of care in our communities;

(iii)      committing the Council to continue to recognise and value the training and professional development of staff within the sector; and

(iv)      reaffirming this Council’s commitment to recognising social value in assessing all potential providers and committing to supporting providers working in new and innovative ways to support staff and clients;

(f)       notes the plight of unpaid carers who have performed heroic efforts to look after our most vulnerable in society during the pandemic; and

(g)      requests the Adult Health and Social Care Policy Committee to seek to adopt and establish cooperative care models in order to empower caregivers and care receivers alike, so that the sector is more sustainable, resilient and that the profit motive is replaced by the motive to provide the best care for patients and achieve high levels of worker security, retention and development.

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