Care providers have reacted angrily to news that a top level meeting between the PM and Chancellor on social care reform has been postponed.
The meeting was reported to have been due to take place between Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock today but been delayed.
Independent Care Group (ICG) Chair Mike Padgham said: “We shouldn’t be surprised, the government is guilty of betrayal after betrayal of social care reform.
“What is the problem this time? Do they need some help? If so, there are plenty of us who are more than happy to step in!
“The Prime Minister has promised to get social care done and the country is tired of waiting for him to deliver on that promise. Time and time again we have been promised a Green Paper on reform, only for it to be delayed again and again.
“The meeting must be rescheduled immediately and all three people come up with an urgent plan of action to save social care. No ifs, no buts, we need to see reform on the table and we need to see it now.
“There is no time left for delays, discussions and consultations, we have to see action. The Prime Minister must be bold and decisive, not let the Chancellor delay reform but instead make history as the Prime Minister who finally fixed social care.
“Many providers now facing dire financial difficulties because their occupancy rates have not recovered since Covid-19 and they have been battered by other soaring costs associated with the pandemic, including higher staffing costs, extra PPE costs and high insurance premiums.
“Providers who look after people in their own home through homecare – which is clearly a central plank to the Government’s future policy for care – are also suffering significantly.
“There have been provider failures already and more are inevitable unless action is taken urgently.”
“We must act fast, or we will not have a social care sector left to reform.”
Commenting yesterday on the reported delay to the meeting, Health & Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “I meet with the PM all the time to talk about all areas of my portfolio. The PM’s commitment is to ensure that we have the plan to tackle social care published this year. There’s a huge amount of work that’s going on on this subject.
“I’m absolutely not going to go into private conversations and the timings of those, that isn’t important. What matters is we have a clear commitment to resolve this long standing issue and at the same time make sure that we keep the improvements we’ve been able to make throughout the pandemic going.”
The Prime Minister commented: “Social care workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic and we have got to improve it and we will. We will be bringing forward some good plans in due course.”