Voyage Care – one of the country’s leading providers of care and support for people with learning and physical disabilities, brain injuries, autism and complex needs – welcomed Redcar MP Jacob Young and local Councillor Paul McInnes to visit its care and support facilities in Bridge Court in November.
The pair met with those supported by Voyage Care and their support workers, and discussed what improvements they’d like to see in the sector to enable them in living the life they choose.
Mr Young and Mr McInnes were given a tour of Bridge Court, where they were also treated to a homemade cheesecake, made by one of the people Voyage Care supports at Bridge Court. The pair then spoke with Beverley Pearson, Operations Manager at Voyage Care, and Home Manager, Diane Croves, to discuss key issues in adult social care.
The Sector Pulse Check Report 2023 published by Care England and Hft in January 2024 highlighted the sustained pressure the social care sector is under from recruitment challenges, funding pressures and the cost of living crisis, which means that people aren’t always able to access the care they need to lead the happy and fulfilling lives they deserve.
Voyage Care is now determined to reframe the debate around adult social care so that it focusses on those of working age being supported as much as those who are older or those needing to be discharged from hospitals.
The care provider is now calling for a more consistent social care commissioning model by local authorities, the establishment of a new Commissioner for Adult Social Care and the creation of a Compulsory National Register of those working in the adult social care system – raising their status and ensuring that they have their skills and knowledge properly recognised.
Andrew Cannon, Chief Executive Officer at Voyage Care, said: “We see it as our duty to raise awareness of the issues that exist within social care. By inviting politicians and policy makers to meet with the people we support, we can showcase the extraordinary work our colleagues do every day to enable them to live as independently as possible.
“Enabling access to high quality specialist adult social care is fundamental to the lives of those we support and also helps to reduce the systemwide pressure on wider public services, such as the NHS, housing and other social care. We are therefore calling for meaningful change, seeking to remove the postcode lottery and ensure that the support available to individuals is linked to their specific needs and not where they live or their financial situation.”
Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, added: “Visiting Voyage Care’s facilities in Bridge Court was a fantastic and enlightening experience.
“It goes without saying that the work carried out by care workers is absolutely vital, ensuring that people who need support are able to live full, rewarding lives.
“But witnessing firsthand the dedication and hard work of the staff, and the positive impact they have on the lives of those they support, really drives home the vital role of social care in our community and my role as an MP to support the sector however I can.”
Voyage Care is a sector leading specialist provider for people with learning disabilities, autism, brain injuries and complex needs, supporting 3,500 individuals across the UK. It employs more than 11,000 staff members to enable people to lead more independent and fulfilled lives.