THE BLOG

Housing Is the Missing Piece in the Health and Care Puzzle

02/03/2015 15:31 GMT | Updated 02/05/2015 10:59 BST

Home matters, it can be an expression of independence, important to our sense of wellbeing and critical to our health. Where we live should be a choice at every stage in our lives. But for those who have complex care and support needs that choice is all too often denied, confused with the package of care, and loss of control.

In September 2014 after a year of research and debate the Commission on the future of Residential Care (CORC) set out its vision and recommendations for an aspirational approach to the delivery of housing with care. We argued that the negative perceptions, even fear, of 'going into care' would only change if we changed the terms of the debate.

Our recommendations have been widely welcomed. As a Commission we decided to carry on working together to argue for and refine our proposals. A series of seminars culminating in this blue print for action and a symposium addressed by the Care Minister at City University mark the next stage in our advocacy for change.

Three things stand out for me from the seminars we have held. First, the passion there is for getting housing fully engaged in shaping the future of health and care. Second, the broad support we have for our recommendations. Third, the ever present challenge of funding. Without a new settlement the future of housing with care will take two distinct paths, one of choice for the rich, and a tattered safety net for the poor.

Housing must become a genuine partner in making health and care fit for purpose and sustainable for the future. Ahead of the spending decisions an incoming Government must take this summer, there must be a non-partisan fundamental review of health and care spending including the contribution that housing can make.

Where we live, and where we die, should be a positive choice, not the consequences of a crisis decision. In our research we found great examples of housing with care enhancing people's lives. We now need to build on the momentum for the Commission's work to make this the reality for everyone.

Rt Hon Paul Burstow MP

Chair of the Commission