Social care has always been the Cinderella service to the NHS. Each year we are seeing more disabled and older people need care than ever before, but for the last 20 years, governments of all stripes have failed to address the growing disparity between the demand and supply of social care. That social care budgets have been cut to the bone by austerity has added further duress.
Access Social Care, a new independent charity previously incubated at Royal Mencap Society, makes sure that more people’s basic legal rights are upheld and that people get the social care they need and have a right to. Their vision is for social care to be properly funded, readily available and fairly distributed. We aim to empower and educate individuals – care managers, families and people with care – to feel confident to seek legal advice to access the support that is available to them.
To deliver this support they have created a Legal Network where we link our legal knowledge to other organisations and their beneficiaries across the social care sector. The Legal Network has 10 members so far including Choice Support, Dimensions, MacIntyre, Mencap, United Response, Camphill Village Trust and Milestones and operates through a subscription-based membership model.
Kari Gerstheimer is CEO and founder of Access Social Care, she has written an article for ‘The Justice Gap’, a magazine about law and justice. Read the full article.