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Ten-year plan for social care was ‘blocked’ by former chancellor, says Jeremy Hunt

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Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has accused Philip Hammond of blocking a 10-year plan for social care during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Speaking to the Health Service Journal, Hunt, who is bidding to be elected as Chair of the House of Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee, said the task of solving the UK’s social care crisis was “unfinished business” from his time as health minister.

He told the journal that he wanted to produce a 10-year plan for social care to match the one drawn up for the NHS two years ago, but this was blocked by the then chancellor Philip Hammond.

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The news follows an admission by Boris Johnson, who ran against Hunt in his Tory leadership campaign, that a long-term plan to reform the social care system could still be five years away.

In an interview with The Independent, Hunt said the plan was axed on cost grounds, adding: “The political pressure is never as great for social care funding but the reality is additional NHS funding will be wasted if we don’t sort out social care.”

In his bid to become chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Hunt said his four priority areas will be mental health, the workforce, social care and patient safety.

“We will never end the annual cycle of winter crises until we look after people better in the community. But there is still no sign of the radical and ambitious plans we need to overhaul social care,” he wrote in Parliament’s magazine, Politics Home.

“It will be expensive but without it we will let down both older people and the vulnerable adults who depend on it.

“I want the committee to lead the way in scrutinising the proposals that come forward to make sure we finally get this right.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told HCI: “Putting social care on a sustainable footing where everyone is treated with dignity and respect is a priority and we will bring forward a plan for social care this year.”

Tags : 10 year planBoris JohnsonJeremy HuntPhilip Hammond
Sarah Clarke

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