Demands from the Care Review Alliance

Care Review Watch Alliance

Our demands:

  1. We call on the government to replace Josh MacAlister with a suitably qualified Chair of the review. MacAlister is not sufficiently experienced in the areas under investigation and does not have demonstrable independence from government. 
  2. We demand the government places the lived experience of children and families at the centre of the Review process, facilitating genuine consultation with and involvement of Experts by Experience. 
  3. We urge the government to formally involve social workers, the largest professional group working within the children’s social care system, in the Review process. 
  4. We call on the government to include within the scope of the Review consideration of the impact of draconian long-term cuts to funding of children’s social care and powers to recommend that funding shortfalls in children’s services are reversed.
  5. We urge the government and the Review to promote a vision of children’s social care with a public service and not-for-profit ethos, informed by values of user participation and democratic accountability.

Who Are The Care Review Watch Alliance?

Following the formation of a group of people with many and varied interests in and shared concerns about the #CareReview, there is now a coalition called the Care Review Watch Alliance.

Whilst we have space on the SWAN website, and some of us are SWAN members, we are a stand alone group and our resources are ourselves! We are not funded by or affiliated with any other group or organisation. On this page you will be able to to find a list of members, short bios, our Demands statement and resources for everyone to use.

Follow us on Twitter @CareReviewWatch

You can watch our videos on You Tube – simply search Care Review Watch Alliance

You can also email us though SWAN –

Care Review Watch Alliance

SWAN is proud to be part of the Care Review Watch Alliance – a broad coalition of people and groups who oppose the Review of Children’s Social Care, chaired by Josh MacAlister, as it is currently constituted.

This page will be dedicated to sharing information, events, demands and motions that critique the evidence and agendas that form the Care Review.

Researching resistance in practice!

Social justice has long been recognized as a core value of social work practice, a value which only increased in importance, if one is to consider the effects of the advancing commodification of social services, the immense social consequences of the Corona-virus, and persistent inequalities.

In their practice, however, social workers are routinely faced with various barriers, which prevent them from practicing ethically. As a response, some social workers engage in acts of resistance and dissent, meaning the daily conduct, reflections, and decisions of social workers that disrupt and challenge systemic discriminatory practices. Currently, one SWAN contact in Germany is in the planning process for a research study, aiming to explore and map such practices of resistance of self-identified ‘resistant’ or ‘dissenting’ social workers.

Methodologically, this will be done by conducting interviews according to the model of the interview to the double, an in-depth structured interview technique aiming to illuminate and articulate practice. (Estimated time to complete: 1,5-2 hours)
In terms of time-scale, the interviews would ideally take place between June and July 2021. They can be also conducted via Zoom or corresponding platforms.

In case this description fits your practice, and you are willing to volunteer your time, expertise, and knowledge, you are invited to participate in this research study. Please feel free to contact SWAN on, and we will link you with the researcher.

Care Reform – The Common Weal


Read the new paper from Colin Turbett here, from the Common Weal website. This history of social work in Scotland highlights how it has been changed, reduced, marginalised. But there is an alternative way.

Listen to the accompanying podcast here.

Why Are Care Workers So Undervalued? Sign The Petition To Improve Pay

SWAN supports the UNISON petition to properly fund the care sector.

Social Work Action Network has long promoted campaigns that highlight the devastating impact that denationalising care has had within the UK. Our new pamphlet ‘People Before Profit: The Future of Social Care Scotland’ produced in collaboration with The Jimmy Reid Foundation has just been launched – days before the Supreme Court rules against paying care workers a fair wage for sleep-in shifts.

Agencies often charge families hundreds of pounds a day for 24 hour care and yet workers remain on poverty pay. COVID has highlighted the desperate unfairness and inequality in our care system, and UNISON has launched a petition:

Please sign and share.

You can get a copy of the SWAN pamphlet here.

The NSPCC should drop JCB

Simon Cardy discusses the background to the call for the NSPCC to stop accepting cash donations from JCB.

SWAN has linked up with possibly its biggest collaboration with other networks and organisations to date namely: Protecting Palestinian Families Campaign, the UK–Palestine Mental Health Network, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions – UK (ICAHD-UK) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign with the aim of stepping up the pressure on the NSPCC drop their partnership with J C Bamford Excavators Ltd (JCB). The coalition aims to support the efforts, led by the Protecting Palestinian Families Campaign, to persuade the NSPCC that it is incompatible with the charity’s core values to take donations from JCB, a British based company that has recently been named by the United Nations as complicit with Israel in violations of international law within the settlements/colonies in the occupied Palestinian Territories. 


March 2019 – Shoal Collective publishes ‘Resisting Demolitions in Palestine. A Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions Guide.

March 2019 – The NSPCC/JCB campaign is started by a group of individuals linked with Palestine Solidarity movement who formed the Protecting Palestinian Families Campaign- an offshoot of ‘Stop the Demolitions’

December 2019 – Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) launch a formal complaint against JCB, a world-leading construction equipment company headquartered in Britain. The complaint is lodged with the UK National Contact Point (a government body which is part of the Department for International Trade) for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (situated in the Department of International Trade).

February 2020 – United Nations Human Rights Office issue a long-awaited report identifying 112 companies involved in business activities in settlements in the Occupied Palestine Territory in violation of International law. Among the companies identified is JCB, one of three UK companies on the list.

July 2020 – Protecting Palestinian Families launch a postcard campaign- 3000 send out to date.

August  2020 – Protecting Palestinian Families and ICAHD launch petition.

September 2020 –  ICAHD UK Workshop

October 2020 – UK National Contact Point publishes its Initial Assessment decision on the human rights complaint against JCB. The National Contact Point accept that key aspects of the LPHR complaint are “material and substantiated” and will investigate further.

October 2020 – SWAN writes letter of concern to the NSPCC Chief Executive.

November 2020 – Some 73 people, including 41 children in one day, were made homeless when their dwellings were knocked down in the Bedouin settlement of Khirbet Humsa, in the Jordan Valley, according to a UN report.

December 2020 – NSPCC respond to Protecting Palestinian Families.

February 2021 – the same Bedouin community is demolished for the fifth time in a month, with JCB and Volvo equipment in use.

March 2021 – Day of action against the NSPCC coordinated by coalition of solidarity organisations and SWAN.

Ethnic cleansing

Some people might think that the mass expulsions and atrocities that accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the creation of the world’s oldest refugee population are historical events. The reality is that the state of Israel is continuing with its policy of ethnic cleansing in what is increasingly recognised as an apartheid settler-colonial state, as B’Tselem, Israel’s state’s leading human rights organisation, has recently reported.  In short, a process of ethnic cleaning continues to this day.

ICAHD says that during and after the Nakba of 1948, when the state of Israel was established, it systematically demolished about 52,000 Palestinian homes, more than 530 entire villages, towns and urban neighbourhoods. Since the beginning of the Occupation in 1967, Israel has demolished another 55,000 homes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Thousands more continue to be demolished inside Israel itself.

Types of Demolitions

Punitive demolitions 3% of houses are demolished are destroyed as a punishment carried out against people associated with those houses. This policy was suspended by the Israeli army in February 2005 after it reached the conclusion that, rather than deterring attacks, punitive demolitions only inflame the people and lead to more attacks. The practice was resumed on 19 January 2009,
Administrative demolitions:   Houses are demolished for lack of a building permit. This happens in Area C and in East Jerusalem, under exclusive Israeli authority, though prior to the existence of Areas A, B & C it occurred in other areas as well.  It is important to point out that in almost all cases, Palestinians have no choice but to build “illegally” as permits will not be granted. It is also the case that, in Area B, if a house is in close proximity to a military base or a road used by the military or settlers, it may also face administrative demolition. This type of demolition accounts for approximately 20% of defined demolitions.
Land-clearing operations/Military demolitions: Houses are demolished by the IDF in the course of military operations for the purposes of clearing off a piece of land (for whatever reason), to achieve a military goal or to kill wanted persons as part of Israel’s policy of extrajudicial executions. Military demolitions characterized the massive destruction of Palestinian communities during the Naqba, and in the Occupied Territory they account for about 66% of defined demolitions carried out since 1967.
Undefined demolitions:   ICAHD is collecting information and investigating the status of many demolitions carried out between 1967-1982, when the Civil Administration begins its work. These include mainly demolitions resulting from land-clearing operations and removal of Palestinian populations.

Source: ICAHD March 2020

The evidence against JCB

A number of organisations have documented compelling video, photographic and written contemporaneous evidence that substantiates the material and prolific use of JCB products in a number of specific demolition and displacement incidents, and in settlement-related construction.

ICAHD states that the demolition policy is ‘part of Israel’s attempt to Judaize Palestine, to transform an Arab country into a Jewish one’. During and after the Nakba of 1948, when the state of Israel was established, it systematically demolished about 52,000 Palestinian homes, more than 530 entire villages, towns and urban neighborhoods. Since the beginning of the Occupation in 1967, Israel has demolished another 55,000 homes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Thousands more continue to be demolished inside Israel itself.

The primary sources of evidence are the prominent Palestinian human rights organisation, Al-Haq; the leading Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem; and the UK charity, EyeWitness to Atrocities.

A key piece of video evidence submitted with the LPHR’s complaint taken on 11 September 2019 can be viewed here.

The video footage shows a JCB vehicle in the South Hebron hills identifiable as the model 3CX, demolishing structures that are likely to be the six family homes reported in the B’Tselem commentary that accompanies the video.

The primary evidence submitted by LPHR that substantiates the material use of JCB products in demolitions, relates to incidents in ten villages or areas in the occupied Palestinian territory, covering a time period of 2016 to 2019. In total, 89 homes are identified as having been demolished, resulting in the displacement of at least 484 individuals, including children and the elderly. One school (Khirbet Tana Elementary School) is among other property documented to have been demolished, as are water tanks.

The evidence demonstrates that vulnerable Palestinian Bedouin communities in Area C of the occupied West Bank are frequently affected by demolitions and displacement, with associated human rights breaches that include the violation of the right to adequate housing under international human rights law.

Under the cover of Covid, with the world’s attention elsewhere and the number of international observers reduced, Israel has continued with home demolition throughout 2020.

As recently as last month, data collectedfrom the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, B’Tselem, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, recorded that, for the month of January 2021, a total of 78 demolitions took place displacing 69 people, 36 adults and 33 children.

Although other machines produced by other companies are involved, JCB plant is consistently being used.

The NSPCCs response

To date, the NSPCC’s response has been craven.

In replies to Protecting Palestinian Families, the NSPCC have shown indifference and a willingness to mirror JCB’s position.

Sheren Green from ICAHD UK and Protecting Palestinian Families explains:

 “Co-owner Lady Carole Bamford was on record as giving thousands to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Indeed, the house where abused children receive the support they desperately need is called Carole House.

So, a carefully crafted letter was sent, acknowledging her benevolence but informing her of the destruction and devastation her products wreaked on innocent families, asking her to cut the company’s ties with Israel.

She didn’t answer so then it was time to ask the NSPCC to cut ties with JCB – how could they possibly accept money earned by traumatising Palestinian children?

A protracted correspondence ensued. CEO Peter Wanless brushed the first letter aside. Then each of the trustees was approached individually.

This time the respondent at least stated the charity’s ethical policy which meant they could not take money made by slavery, human trafficking or child labour. Money made from leaving children traumatised, homeless and impoverished in Palestine was apparently all right.

Dame Esther Rantzen was approached – her life-saving initiative ChildLine is now incorporated into the NSPCC – but she did not answer.”

After lengthy correspondence, the NSPCC eventually responded in December 2020.

The NSPCC states that it is “not associated with any organisation connected with slavery, human trafficking and child labour or where a director or officer has been convicted of a sexual offence” and as JCB is not identified within these criteria, the NSPCC does not agree that JCB has a case to answer.

 The NSPCC accepts that JCB is included on a database published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, says they have challenged JCB on this point and understand that in reply “JCB have requested immediate removal from the database”.

With regard to National Contact Point’s investigation following a complaint from Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, the NSPCC states that the investigation found “the claims related to JCB contributing to abuses of human rights does not merit further examination”.

 Finally, The NSPCC have been told by JCB that “that all of the products they supply to Israel are via a third-party independent distributor, Comasco. They state that they have not sold any machinery directly to the Israeli authorities. They state that once products have been sold to Comasco, JCB has no legal ownership of them and they claim, therefore, they cannot stipulate to whom their products can or cannot be sold to.”

There are a number of problems with the NSPCC’s position.

First, the NSPCC’s ethical policy is very narrow in scope.

Second, the NSPCC seem willing to believe that JCB’s request that the UN remove its name from the data base, is sufficient defence: the UN has clearly not removed JCB from the list. The charity seems to make light of the fact that according to reports, accounting for the long delay in the UN’s publication of the list – none of the 112 companies had been identified lightly and – as you might expect – only after lengthy correspondence with the each of the companies named in the report.

Third, the NSPCC are being very selective in regard to the outcome of Contact Point’s initial investigation. Whilst it is true that the Contact Point investigation concluded that the claims related to ‘JCB contributing to abuses of human rights’ did not merit further examination, the Contact Point investigation did however conclude that the JCB’s apparent breach of three key corporate human rights responsibilities under the OECD Guidelines merited further investigation. According to these criteria, businesses should:

  • Seek ways to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts directly linked to its business operations and products by a business relationship.
  • Have a policy commitment to respect human rights.
  • Carry out human rights’ due diligence.

In contrast to what the NSPCC would like us to believe, the Contact Point complaint is far from over. The National Contact Point is now offering the parties an opportunity to mediate. If the parties do not want to mediate or cannot reach an agreement, the agency will examine if JCB’s actions and policies are consistent with the OECD Guidelines.


This article sets out the background to the call for the NSPCC to stop accepting donations from J C Bamford Excavators Ltd, a company named by the United Nations in February 2020 as in breach of its Human Rights obligations. The NSPCC claims that they are here for ‘every child’ but not it seems, if that child lives in Palestine. 

twitter @simoncardy

Links and articles

Call for NSPCC to stop accepting donations from JCB’ ICAHD 5 May 2020

JCB to be investigated after UK Government body accepts LPHR complaint is material and substantiated relating to involvement in Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians’ Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights October 2020.

Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories’  24 February 2020

Clearly, not every child is worth fighting for: racism, conscience and the NSPCC’ by Martin Kemp

‘Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin Village’ Chanel Four News 11 February 2021

How Safe Are Palestinian Children?

Along with our coalition partners, a Day of Action is planned for 4th March, the day of the NSPCC’s national conference.

“Every child has the right to grow up safely”
… say the NSPCC, in advertising their 4th March conference: HowSafe2021

Every child? Including Palestinian children, right? Apparently not.

The NSPCC take money from JCB, knowing that their equipment is sold to be used to illegally demolish Palestinian homes

We invite social workers and all concerned about child protection to join our day of action on 4th March to call on the NSPCC to stop doing this

Please do one or more of the following on 4th March

1. Tweet your call to NSPCC to refuse donations from JCB.

Suggested Tweets:

  • Ensure EVERY child has the right to grow up safely @NSPCC @JCBmachines #HowSafe2021 #HowSafeArePalestinianChildren
  • Calling on the @NSPCC to cut your ties with @JCBmachines – your role is to protect children, not to take money tainted with actions that make them homeless and traumatised #HowSafe2021 #HowSafeArePalestinianChildren
  • How can @NSPCC claim to believe in the safety of every child while taking money from @JCBmachines, who profit from the illegal demolition of Palestinian homes and leave thousands of Palestinian children cruelly destitute and harmed #HowSafe2021 #HowSafeArePalestinianChildren

Tweet between 8.30am to 3.30pm and include the conference hashtag

#HowSafe2021 AND our hashtag #HowSafeArePalestinianChildren AND you could also tag @NSPCC

You could also share a photo with a placard, using our hashtag #HowSafeArePalestinianChildren

2. Write to the NSPCC

By email – Key contacts are

Chair of Trustees –

Chief Executive –

Director of Fundraising and Engagement –

By post – Addressed to one or more of the above, ℅ NSPCC Head Office, Weston House, 42 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NH

There are sample letters here.

You will also find ideas in the open letters to the NSPCC from the Social Work Action Network and the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network.

3. Find out more

Clearly, not every child is worth fighting for: racism, conscience and the NSPCC is an excellent article that draws parallels with Black Lives Matter and contains links with detailed information on the issue.

4. Inform your friends and colleagues

Share on your other social media platforms – ask your union or professional association to take action.

Thank you

PAs and Care workers in UK under the new immigration system – letter for signatories from DPAC


Many disabled people have for as long as 30 years used PAs and Care Workers from the EU and EEA countries as well as from countries further afield. This has increased their choice and control over the care they receive and for many has been invaluable.

One of the many negative outcomes of taking back control of our borders after Brexit is the loss of freedom of movement for EU and EEA workers especially for anyone from those countries who weren’t working in the UK prior to December 31st 2020 and who aren’t able to apply therefore for pre-settled or Frontier Worker status.

At the moment the new style immigration policy appears to offer no option at all for care workers from other parts of the world to come and work here. The government has refused to class them as skilled workers or class them as a shortage occupation.

We are asking disabled people, their family, friends, DDPOs and our supporters to sign up to support the letter below asking that Care Workers and PAs are classed as a shortage occupation and/or can continue to apply to work in the UK with Frontier Workers status which basically would allow them to come here to work while primarily living in their home nations.

We will collect signatures to our letter until February 7th and then plan to send it to members of the Migration Advisory Committee which advises the government on shortage occupations plus ministers, MPs and Lords.

To sign up to the letter please email us at

We would like to keep your details so that we can contact you further about supporting changes to the current guidelines as we’re sure we will need to exert further pressure on the government to get the changes needed.


As disabled people who use care workers and personal assistants (PAs) from both the UK and many other parts of the globe including from EU countries, we are concerned that we appear to no longer have the opportunity to employ new staff from outside of the UK. 

We are urging you to include care workers as a shortage occupation as well as extending the Frontier Worker scheme to include new employed and self-employed care workers both from EU and EEA countries and extending this to care workers from outside of the EU.

As service users, their family. Friends, and supporters we know from many years of personal experience that it is vital to have every path open to enable the recruitment and retention of staff with the key values, behaviours, personality, client synergy and skill set to deliver high quality, safe, and value-for-money services. As recipients of social care, we know that it is not possible for just anyone to become a satisfactory care worker/PA.

Figures show there is already a dramatic shortage of skilled care workers and PAs in the UK, and these changes will exacerbate the overwhelming pressures our care system already faces. The provision of quality care is important to the mental and physical wellbeing of a vast swathe of the UK’s disabled and older people – who are often denied rights and opportunities many take for granted.

The majority of this industry workforce do not wish to relocate to reside in the UK permanently and come here to work for a fixed period of time and then return home. They contribute to the GDP through taxation and purchasing goods and services. Loss of such workers will exacerbate the overwhelming pressures our care system already faces.

Many of these workers perform skilled tasks similar to Nursing and Health Care Assistants who are able to continue working in the UK.

ONS figures estimate there are 112,000 unfilled vacancies at any one time in the Adult Social Care sector – a rate of 8% – compared to an overall vacancy rate of 2.7% across the UK economy as a whole.

In 2019-2020, 143,000 care workers and PAs left the industry, and the retention rate is worryingly low, particularly during the first year of working.

27 per cent of Adult Social Care Workers are aged over 55 and will need to be replaced in the future as they age or become unable to continue with physically demanding work.

Skills for Care estimates that 56 percent of the adult social care workforce are non-UK workers coming to the UK from abroad to work. PA Pool, an organisation set up to help disabled and older people recruit PAs, has an almost 50 per cent split between UK and non-UK staff. This means they could lose up to half of their potential workforce due to the current changes. Independent Living Alternatives, another PA agency, say that for traditional live-in staff 60 per cent of their workers are from the EU and only 28 per cent from the UK.

While it appears any EU and EEA staff working in the UK by December 31st, 2020 have the option to apply for pre-settled status, or for Frontier Worker status if they do not wish to later apply to settle here until June 30th 2021, there is at present no option for these schemes to be extended to new staff who weren’t working in the UK by December 31st 2020 which we feel it is vital to have. Due to all the factors outlined above, we feel this is essential to prevent a social care ticking time bomb, which will result in a devastating shortage of skilled, qualified care workers, increasing pressure on our already crumbling social care system and putting disabled people’s lives at risk as well as increasing both pressure and avoidable expense on our NHS.

Limiting the employment opportunities in social care poses a grave danger that many disabled people who have spent over 12 months shielding will end up losing their freedom, independence and quality of life which has been the sole factor keeping them going through the past months. Ensuring disabled people have the right to continue employing the skilled care workers they rely on must be a priority.

In conclusion we are urging you to make care work a shortage occupation and extend the Frontier Worker scheme to include new self-employed staff from inside the EU and EEA areas as well as from outside of the EU.

Disability, Vulnerability, and the Pandemic

Written by Bob Williams-Findlay of Reclaim Social Care

It is widely acknowledged that we are living through difficult and uncertain times. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to over 80,000 deaths in the United Kingdom, with many more likely to face long-term implications of having the virus. Given this, and the fact that a large percentage of those affected come from older generations and people with pre-existing health conditions, it is not surprising people within ‘at risk’ groups are feeling vulnerable. There is however a real danger in taking a ‘common-sense’ approach towards understanding this situation.

Too often ‘common-sense’ draws upon existing stereotypes, assumptions, and cultural values which reinforce ageism and disablism. Stereotyping usually falls into one of two camps where people are viewed as either tragic or brave – failing to conform to expectations or exceeding them. The portrayal of older and disabled people as ‘burdensome’, ‘helpless’, ‘childlike’, and ‘pitiful’, all underpin the notion of ‘vulnerable people’. Disabled people since the 1970s have challenged how they are both seen and treated. Employing a social interpretation of disability, Disabled people challenged the root causes of why they encounter social restrictions; this involved shifting the focus away from ‘blaming’ the person’s impairment for their disadvantages towards appraising how society responds to people who have impairments or chronic illnesses. In recent years, we have seen an undermining of this social approach as governments have sought to dismantle the welfare state and shift the responsibility for well-being back onto individuals. The rhetoric of neo-liberal social policies has reintroduced ideas linked with eugenics and encourages euthanasia.

Many older and Disabled people are deeply concerned not only about the inadequate and irresponsible manner in which the Johnson government has approached the pandemic, but also the language and narratives associated with it. What we have witnessed is the government, the mass media, and health professionals all presenting people within ‘at risk’ groups as being ‘the vulnerable’ and ‘vulnerable people’ (sic). These labels imply the characteristics of individuals –their age, impairments, and chronic illnesses – are the direct cause of their vulnerability. We would argue this is a false and dangerous presentation, one that panders to outdated ideas found within Social Darwinism. The disgraceful way ‘social value’ is measured by the likes of Lord Sumption acts as testimony to this way of thinking. Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was a struggle for existence ruled by “survival of the fittest,”

It is not our aim to deny that age, impairments, and chronic illnesses are factors that are likely to put some groups of people at greater risk; what we are challenging are the assumptions that are made and the perceived causes of the vulnerability. It is not age, impairments, or chronic illnesses that predetermines vulnerability; but the ways in which society sees and treats older and Disabled people create both the conditions and situations where people within ‘at risk’ groups made vulnerable.

Let us consider the definition of vulnerability; it is viewed as: ‘the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally’. Key here are the words: being exposed to the possibility of’ which acknowledges that it is external to the person. We nevertheless live in an ageist and disablist society that socially constructs ‘vulnerable people’ as being: ‘a person over the age of 18 who is unable to take care of themself. It can also refer to one who is unable to protect themself against significant harm or exploitation.’

Consider this for a moment, especially within the context of the pandemic. Consider this also in the context of the crisis within social care and the reduction in the means to live independent lives based upon choice and control. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how co-dependent we are on other people, the value of mutual support, and the need for community. Being isolated, unsupported, and without access to basic needs harms everyone not just older and Disabled people. Our society ‘blames’ older and Disabled people for not being self-reliant and brands them as ‘vulnerable’ to legitimise this view and subsequent treatment. Now it is time to consider what really makes up older and Disabled people’s vulnerability, not just during the pandemic, but also in its aftermath. We believe it is:

  • The ageist and disablist stereotyping that impacts on how we are seen and treated;-
  • The underfunding and privatisation of the NHS;-
  • The absence of a fully funded National Care, Support, and Independent Living Service;-
  • The existence of a market driven private care sector;-
  • The lack of protection from the virus due to cuts in services, resources, the lack of provision of PPE, discharging patients with Covid-19 into care homes, lack of policies to support families and friends;-
  • The failure of the existing benefits system;-
  • Not adequately addressing the climate crisis

The list could go on. Our priority short term is to ensure that people in ‘at risk’ groups are protected and empowered to speak for themselves. We must continue to challenge ageist and disablist narratives and the harmful use of language. To slate judgemental labels and promote a better understanding of why certain groups are ‘at risk’ during the pandemic. Above all, our long term aim is to remove the inequalities and barriers that maintain older and Disabled people’s vulnerable status.