Social care leaders urge Government to take action on reform of social care system
Seven leaders from adult social care organisations have written to the Prime Minister, Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Health, urging them to act immediately on the reform of England’s social care system and publish its proposals before the Summer Recess.
The letter Reform urges the Government to outline its plans for social care reform before the Summer parliamentary recess next month, in the hope to receive a 10-year plan for social care as well as a guarantee of funding to enable social care to deal with rising need for care and support while reform is put in place.
Leaders from adult social care organisations including Stephen Chandler (ADASS), Martin Routledge (Social Care Future) and Councillor David Fothergill Chairman of the LGA Community Wellbeing Board have emphasised that reform must be underpinned by a positive vision.
“We all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us,” the letter said.
Leaders urged the Government to focus on “transforming social care so that it is sustainable and helps enable people with care and support needs to be fully included in their communities matters in its own right,” adding that social care must be seen as a “key part of our in infrastructure” in the pandemic recovery.
The letter highlighted the mains areas which need action, including addressing longer term funding and co-producing a ten-year plan for social care which will help enable a successful implementation of the forthcoming Health and Social Care Bill, and the revision of the Mental Health Act.
Leaders outlined some of the key points to help build a sustainable system of social care, including creating a targeted fund to enable councils to make a rapid shift towards prevention, as well as an innovation fund to help enable local authorities to ‘harness the potential’ of technology.
They also urged the Government to bring forward investment and reform proposals to ensure a long-term future of social care, as well as a “simple and fairer” system.
The letter follows a report last week that revealed seven in ten social services directors are dealing with a growing demand for help with mental health issues, saying that they feared people will have to wait longer for less care and support unless the Government steps in with more funding and launches its long-awaited social care reforms.
Stephen Chandler, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said the trends seen by directors of services for adults were “unsustainable” and show why the Government must publish its plans for social care “as a matter of urgency.”
The letter comes as a meeting to discuss social care, involving Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock scheduled for Tuesday (22 June) has been postponed.
Jeremy Hunt, former Health Secretary described the meeting between Johnson, Sunak and Hancock “a do or die moment for social care” as Ministers faced growing pressure to provide sufficient resources to social care.
However, Business Secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng said he was unaware the meeting was taking place or why it was postponed, but that developing a plan to properly fund social care in England “remained a priority” for the Government.
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