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NEWSFLASH: Government unveils ten-year vision for social care

Sajid-Javid

The government has outlined a ten-year vision for social care to be funded by a 1.25% health and social care levy.

The White Paper outlines how the government will spend over £1bn over the next three years on improving the lives of people who receive care as well as their families and carers.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) said:  “This ten-year vision clearly lays out how we will make the system fairer and better to serve everyone, from the millions of people receiving care to those who are providing it.

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“We are investing in our country’s future – boosting support to help people live at home with their families for longer and ensuring that health and care work hand in hand so people get the help they need.”

The plans include £300m in increasing supported housing, £150m on improving social care digital technology to support care quality and independent living, and £500m on carer training and qualifications.

Initial reaction

Welcoming the paper’s workforce elements, including its commitment to professional development, Skills for Care CEO, Oonagh Smyth, said: “This White Paper is the start of recognising that people who work in social care are skilled, compassionate professionals and we look forward to working with the government on what future investment will look like, and to support making the ambitions set out in the White Paper a reality.”

Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, also welcomed the White Paper as a “ starting point” calling it a “foundation stone for which we have been waiting for 20 years or more”.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, recognised the White Paper’s vision but warned that its delivery would be “very difficult” because of the major challenges facing the sector.

Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, recognised the proposals’ shift towards more care at home and in the community and its focus on housing and care.

She said that realising the government’s ambition would require a long-term commitment to co-production “with people who draw on care, their carers and local communities playing a central role”.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, highlighted the proposals’ lack of new funding, however, which meant that “any changes will be modest and slow to arrive”. She added there was nothing in the paper to address the sector’s chronic workforce shortages.

Similarly, Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, said the proposals, while welcome, did not address the current workforce crisis affecting the social care sector.

Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, chair of Advinia Health Care, added: “This White Paper does nothing to tackle the shocking scale of unmet need, and to provide the necessary funding to support the sector through what will be an exceptionally difficult winter. This is yet another example of kicking the can down the road. The sector urgently requires a long-term, legally binding, and sustainable funding from the government, as it has made with its spending commitments to the NHS.”

Tags : social care reformwhite paper
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The author Lee Peart

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