Jeremy Hunt MP responds to Government plans for social care reform
2 December 2021
Committee Chair Jeremy Hunt issues a comment in response to the Government’s White Paper, People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform, published today.
“This is a disappointment given the extent of the crisis in social care and the predicament of people whose quality of life is dependent on a solution being found.
“Providing an additional £1.7 billion in funding over three years falls far short of the annual £7 billion sum that our evidence found would be necessary to fix social care. The White Paper states that it provides an ‘ambitious ten-year vision’, but it doesn’t acknowledge the scale of extra resource needed to realise that vision, based on the crisis the sector faces right now.
“The Government deserves credit for grasping the nettle of social care reform, and no-one can argue with the laudable aims of providing choice, quality and fair access. However, these plans represent three steps forward and two steps back. Though there is progress with a cap on care costs, it could have gone further. Failures in social care will continue to put pressure on our overstretched hospitals with patients who cannot be safely discharged exacerbating the winter crisis and thousands of people will not get the care they need because the carers do not exist.
“The social care sector needs to recruit and retain the right number of staff, with the right skills, with support and recognition. While the workforce strategy in the White Paper clearly takes this into account, it does not go far enough. Social care needs its own People Plan, and a detailed ten-year strategy setting how these ambitions will be achieved.
“While the White Paper recognises the crucial role played by unpaid carers, it seems it will be some time before they can expect to see a change in the services provided to them to meet the challenges they face.”
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