NCF responds to Liberal Democrats’ social care election announcement on Wednesday, 4th June.

The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not-for-profit social care has responded to today’s announcement of plans for social care by Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey.

Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of NCF commented: “At last one of the political parties has finally broken the silence and acknowledged that social care is a fundamental election issue. The Liberal Democrats have made a clear statement about the importance of social care, and we welcome their understanding of the centrality of care to people’s quality of life, as well as to supporting an integrated health and care system. There is a very welcome focus in their announcements around addressing the pay, terms and conditions of the care workforce, and recognising the professional status of care workers. Care is a hugely complex and skilled role, and there is a clear evidence base that demonstrates addressing these factors would support recruitment, retention, career development and pride in delivering this most vital of public services. The detail behind their plans for free personal care will be important to understand and the fundamental premise of any new system is that it enhances people’s
ability to access high quality, sustainable social care at the time and place that they want it.” 

“In this regard, there is much to learn from partners across the UK and wider who have introduced free personal care.”

“We now urgently need the other parties to step up and outline what they will do in relation to social care. Millions of voters are deeply affected by social care, directly or indirectly, and want to vote for a party that cares about their interests. An estimated half of the electorate either work in social care, draw upon care and support, are waiting for a care assessment or are an unpaid carer for someone so this really is an issue for millions of voters.”


More about the #Speak Up For Care campaign

We believe that social care needs to be the top priority particularly as the next general election approaches.

As not-for-profit care providers we need the next government to address the issues in the social care system and start listening to our united voices. Together the adult social care sector represents 50% of the electorate who will be voting in the next election, that’s around 23 million people.

We need the next government to address the key areas that will enable people to get the care when they need, where they need and how they need it:

  • Improve the pay, terms and conditions of the workforce with a workforce plan and dedicated funding
  • Help the public improve its understanding of the value of social care so it has the same status as the NHS in the public imagination
  • Create a National Care Covenant that guarantees the rights and choice of people in their own care, allows them to be a fundamental part of designing a new system as well as ensuring people have access to care when, where and how they need it irrespective of where they live
  • Encourage more care providers to adopt a not-for-profit business model and work with regulators and commissioners to prioritise ethical and transparent not-for-profit care
  • Create an economic growth strategy for adult social care which recognises that social care is a large employer contributing £55.7bn to the English economy, making it an essential part of the national infrastructure.
  • The most important of the above is that the next government improves the pay, terms and conditions of the people delivering care. Coupled with this, care workers must receive professional recognition and esteem and parity of opportunity with the NHS.

A long-term plan for the social care workforce that aligns with the NHS workforce plan is long overdue. Implementing this, together with the introduction of professional registration for care workers will help them feel more valued and create stability in the sector which is ravaged by recruitment and retention issues. This must all be backed by dedicated funding.

We need the support of our communities to make social care, and specifically the workforce challenges we face, a doorstep issue this general election and get candidates to show us that social care is something they care about. To do this, we need you to join us as we speak up for care.

There are various ways you can join us to Speak Up For Care:

  • Write to your local MP and /or prospective parliamentary candidate and raise the issues affecting the care sector in your constituency.
  • Share your story with us about the fantastic care you or a loved one has received to highlight our wonderful carers and post on social media using the hashtag #speakupforcare.
  • Speak to your local newspaper and tell them your care story.
  • Follow us and the hashtag #speakupforcare on social media, and share, comment on and like our posts.
  • Make sure you vote in this crucial general election and encourage family and friends who are eligible to vote to do the same.


Further information and resources about voting

If you are not yet registered to vote you will need to do this by Tuesday, 18th June.

You can apply for a postal vote by 5pm on Wednesday, 19th June or apply for a proxy vote by 5pm on Wednesday, 26th June.

You can register to vote here


You will also need to ensure that you have suitable voter ID. For more information the following websites are helpful:

If you don’t already have an acceptable photo ID, you can register for a free voter ID by 5pm on Wednesday, 26th June.


My Vote My Voice has specific guidance for people with a learning disability and autistic people:


You’ll find a list of UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidates here:


Manifesto for social care from main political parties

You’ll find the details of the main parties proposals for Social Care in their manifestos here.

You can read more about our BCOP care homes here.