Underfunded and understaffed, social care is in a deep state of crisis. With its already precarious future at risk, if social care continues to be overlooked by government and public alike, soon enough it will become a thing of the past.
As an ageing population with an increasing morbidity rate, we need social care more than ever. Despite growing demands, these services have faced severe funding cuts over the past few decades, leaving over one million people deprived of basic support. Unpaid carers and an overstretched NHS are left to pick up the pieces.
Responding to the urgent need to reform how social care is funded in the UK, The NHS Confederation led a coalition of fifteen health organisations to deliver the campaign, Health for Care. Its objective is to make a case for a sustainable settlement for social care by calling on the Government to add it to the 2019 Spending Review agenda.
Back in March 2017, ministers vowed to draw up a Green Paper on social care to tackle these issues head-on. The plans have been postponed several times since then, a date for publication uncertain – this is what the Health for Care movement seeks to redress.
The NHS Confederation approached us with a complex communications challenge. The immediate requirement was to reach government in a letter to the Prime Minister, stressing the crucial need for a long-term plan for social care. The secondary requirement is to raise awareness amongst the public as to how social care services are funded and delivered.
Collaborating with The NHS Confederation, we designed a campaign identity that would reach both target audiences. We came up with two straplines, both strong calls to action that give the campaign an immediate voice. For the government audience we decided on: ‘Plan. Reform. Fund. Deliver.’, a clear four-step plan outlining the actions needed to effect change, leaving no room for debate. And for the public: ‘Demanding a future for social care’, which stresses that there will be no future as long as the issue remains neglected.
We chose to leverage the NHS brand in the visual identity while avoiding a direct pastiche. Using its core blue, we designed the visuals with a view to imploring both audiences to value social care as much as they do our National Health Service. If the NHS were to reach breaking point, there would be a palpable sense of national despair, panic and anxiety – these were the emotions that we wanted to capture and apply to the issue of social care.
It is the sad truth that as social care descends into crisis, it also departs to the margins of public and political consciousness. That’s why Health for Care is a vital campaign that deserves recognition across the UK. We are looking forward to seeing its impact on the upcoming Green Paper and annual spending review.