Care leaders give their take on Queen’s Speech

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Care leaders have responded to the Government’s announcements on social care in the Queen’s Speech yesterday.

The speech promised reform of social care without making specific proposals.

The Government had previously been forced to backtrack on plans to abolish a cap on social care costs after it was poorly received by voters during the general election campaign (see BREAKING NEWS: Tories row back on social care plans).

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Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, told us: “Social care was a critical issue in the election campaign, but this has not been reflected in the Government’s legislative Programme.

“We have had enough Commission’s, Inquiries, and consultations, and what we need now, is some long term and clear policy from the Government on the vision for Social Care and how it will be funded.”

Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, added: “Sadly, the Queen’s Speech was notable for what was missing more than what was in it.  Any promise of immediate action on social care was gone and with it the hopes of millions of people who want to see the crisis in how we care for our older and vulnerable adults resolved now, not months or years down the road.

“Instead we have been left with yet another lengthy consultation process. I think the country is tired of yet more reports, consultations and commissions and wants to see action this day – the country deserves better.”

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK Charity Director, said the Government’s promised Green Paper should address the “yawning funding gap” for social care.

She added: “The proposals set out in the Conservative Party Manifesto were insufficiently thought through and involved a major shift of financial liability onto older people and their families, and there was a lack of clarity as to what they might receive in return which might make such policies fair and worthwhile from their point of view.

“There was also no recognition that many older people and their families are already paying a great deal for social care and not always receiving a good service in return. It is critical that this consultation process results in real reform to the social care system which is so desperately needed.”

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said the ‘dementia tax’ debate and Hung Parliament had sent a “thundering message to the Prime Minister that empty promises and platitudes won’t suffice”.

He added: “The public simply won’t accept a drawn out consultation that leads to no resolution. We have waited long enough for action and workable solutions. The Prime Minister should recognise there is support across all political parties for action on dementia.”

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