Leaders have urged Boris Johnson to make tackling the social care crisis a priority after he became Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson, who became PM by winning more than two-thirds of a ballot of Tory members, is expected to announce a series of key cabinet appointments this afternoon.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said the new Prime Minister must see social care as part of the UK’s national infrastructure and as “very important part of many local economies”.
Martin added: “I hope that Mr Johnson will see the benefits of social care, rather than regarding it as something that is a drain on public finances. In reality social care is a net contributor to the UK economy and is a vital support to people with complex needs and their families.”
Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, said she hoped the change of leader would be an opportunity to take a fresh look at finding a solution to the social care crisis.
“PM Johnson showed little understanding of the detail of the issues during the campaign but we hope he will grasp the situation quickly,” Nadra said.
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, called on the Prime Minister to honour his pledge that nobody should have to sell their home to pay for their and make adult social care a high priority.
“Over the years too many politicians have promised to tackle social care and then failed – here is an opportunity for Boris Johnson to be different and show us that he is,” Mike said.
Cllr David Williams, chairman-elect of the County Councils Network and leader of Hertfordshire County Council, urged the Prime Minister to make local government his immediate domestic priority with local authorities facing a £51.8bn black hole over the next six years following years of austerity.
Mei-Ling Huang, a Partner in the Social Care team at the law firm Royds Withy King, branded the Prime Minister’s proposals on seeking a cross-party agreement to avoid people having to sell their homes as “at best weak and most likely undeliverable”.
The legal partner added: “The demand for social care is increasing at a time when spending cuts are digging ever harder. Staff costs are rising at a time when immigration controls are being tightened. We are still waiting on the publication of the Social Care Green Paper, and yet our politicians still look to dodge the serious debate that is needed.
“We understand that there are many pressing priorities for the incoming Prime Minister but delivering a basic level of care for the most vulnerable in a civilised society must be top of that list. We would urge the Prime Minister to engage in a meaningful discussion on the future of adult social care as one of the top priorities.”