Clock is ticking for cross-party talks on social care, says NCF boss

Vic Rayner

Time is running out for the new government to hold cross-party talks on social care, as promised ahead of the General Election, the executive director of the National Care Forum has said.

On its campaign trail, the Conservative Party vowed to hold cross-party talks on the long-term reform of social care within the first 100 days of holding office.

“The clock is ticking – and people who receive care, the workforce, providers and commissioners of care all need to be part of the future solution to get this right. Social care matters to us all,” Rayner said.

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“The Prime Minister must understand that in the future oven ready solutions can only come from carefully considering all the ingredients.”

The NCF director added that “too much time was lost” in the last parliament on failing to overhaul the country’s broken care system, and called on the Conservatives to make a step change in their approach to social care.

“They went into this election calling themselves the party of the NHS, now is the time to show themselves as the government of social care,” she added.

The government committed to reform adult social care in the Queen’s Speech on December 19, stating that it would ensure that the system provides everyone with the dignity and security they deserve and that no one who needs care has to sell their home to pay for it.

But the party was criticised for failing to address the reality of state-funded care.

“The lack of concrete proposals from Government for the long term funding of Social Care in today’s Queen’s Speech and a simplistic view of protecting housing assets is immensely disappointing,” a UKHCA spokesperson said.

“At least 10 million people are receiving or need to receive support and care in their own homes from both informal and formal carers, compared with fewer than 0.5 million in care homes, of which less than half pay for their own care.

“The majority needing support and care at home must be considered as well as those paying for care homes, particularly as adequate investment in homecare will relieve pressure on the NHS.”

Morgan Vine, campaigns manager at Independent Age, said: “Cross-party consensus would reduce the risk of proposals failing to be implemented, but this can only be achieved if the plans themselves are fully comprehensive.

“The government must as a matter of urgency outline the decisive action it will take to improve the social care system. Older people and their families have waited more than 20 years to see the reform of social care in England. With every year that passes, increasing numbers of older people are going without the support they need, or are facing huge costs to access essential care services.”

Tags : cross-party consensusNational Care ForumVic Rayner
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