Southwark Council talks about making social care better in Parliament

19 July 2022

On Wednesday 13 July, Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, went to Parliament to talk about how Southwark Council is improving local social care services and give social care staff the pay they deserve.

Cllr Akoto was asked to speak about social care at a special meeting held by the trade union UNISON, which the Shadow Health Secretary, MPs, social care staff and other councils also went to.

She told people at the event how Southwark Council is rolling out its Ethical Care Charter and Residential Care Charter, and how the charter has made sure that all the social care providers that work with the council have agreed to give their patients good care, and to pay their carer staff well and give them better working rights.

“We wanted to make Southwark a place where social workers felt supported, felt respected, felt they had the support of the local authority and that’s why we introduced the Southwark Ethical Care Charter and the Residential Care Charter for home care and residential care respectively, to ensure a high standard of working conditions and fair pay for our social care staff. We had to invest 4 million to make sure that social care workers are being paid the living wage.”

Since the Ethical Care Charter was introduced, the satisfaction rates of people getting home care in Southwark has gone up from 53 per cent to 94 per cent.

Cllr Akoto also said that the Government should take a look at what Southwark Council has done, and make sure that social care workers all around the country are given the pay, employment rights and working conditions that they deserve.

“We know that social care workers work tirelessly and unimaginable conditions. Unlike the police force, bin collectors and the fire service, social care workers are still not being paid adequately enough, still not being recognised for the hard work they do.”

Karin Smyth, the Shadow Minister for Social Care, said it was good to hear that Southwark had made social care services work better and that the council had worked to make social care staff better paid.

Page last updated: 19 July 2022