Leaders have reacted angrily to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday that it could take five years to form a social care rescue plan.
Speaking to the BBC, the PM said that while he aimed to get his social care plans in motion this year, it could take until the end of the government’s term to get them fully implemented.
But these comments come in stark contrast to the promise Johnson made when he took office to “fix social care once and fall” with a “clear plan” he had prepared.
Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, said: “The Prime Minister has given commitments to the reform of social care and we cannot wait until the end of this Parliament for action. We have had 21 years of discussion, now what we need is a government committed to delivering a long-term and sustainable solution to care, and with an 80 seat majority there is no reason why they cannot deliver it.”
Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, added: “On the campaign trail the government stated that it would hold cross-party talks on social care within the first 100 days of holding office. There are now 68 days remaining and no signs of this cross-party approach. The clock is ticking – and the people who receive care, the workforce, providers and commissioners all need to be part of the solution.”
Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, highlighted how social care providers were facing increasing cost pressures as result of the latest hike in the National Living Wage.
She added: “This government now needs to deliver on its promise to the public to make social care sustainable for future generations. The time to procrastinate has passed: this government has made a promise to the electorate specifically in relation to social care…it is time to deliver!”
Meanwhile, Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said the PM’s announcement was a “huge disappointment” after his previous promises to tackle social care.
“To hear that social care could be fobbed off for up to another five years is a kick in the teeth for the 1.5m people who can’t get the care they need today,” Padgham said.
“The social care sector deserves better and tackling this crisis should be the government’s number one domestic priority.”