The Prime Minister has confirmed that the social care sector will have a 10-year plan, akin to the one drawn up for the NHS.
Boris Johnson told the Commons liaison committee this week that social care reforms were in preparation and that the “gulf” between the NHS and social care, into which “so many people fall into”, is a “problem that needed to be fixed”.
“Do we need a plan to do it, a long-term plan, a 10-year plan? The answer is yes and the government will be bringing forward our proposals on social care reforms later this year,” he said.
The remarks came in response to a question from Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, who urged the government to treat social care as equally important to the NHS.
“Last week the NHS got £6.6 billion for COVID costs, but there was no mention of social care in the budget at all. I just wondered if you could understand the frustration of 1.6 million people in the sector who feel they are always treated as the poor relation,” Hunt said.
The former Health Secretary has repeatedly called for a ‘people plan’ that mirrors the blueprint for improving conditions for NHS staff, as well as a £7bn annual increase in social care funding to avoid the risk of market collapse.
In February, he expressed “disappointment” with the government for failing to address recommendations for social care reform.
He said in a letter to Care Minister Helen Whately that the government had failed to provide detail on its long-term plans for social care in its response to the Committee’s report.
He added: “Despite promises, Ministers appear to have made no progress towards a genuine long-term solution to this crisis. Resolving it must be set as a priority. An intention to announce plans ‘this year’ rings hollow in the absence of detail on process or timescale and the failure to address this alongside NHS reform.”