NHS England chief calls for social care reform within a year


NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said plans for social care reform need to be in place within a year.

Speaking during the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme yesterday, Sir Simon said the COVID-19 crisis should be a catalyst for reform of the social care system.

Sir Simon said: “If any good is to come from this, we must use this as a moment to resolve once and for all to actually properly resource and reform the way in which social care works in this country.

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“The reality is that after at least two decades of talking about it, we do not have a fair and properly resourced adult social care system with a proper set of workforce supports.

“I would hope by the time we are sitting down this time next year on the 73rd birthday of the NHS that we have actually, as a country, been able to decisively answer the question of how are we going to fund and provide high-quality social care for my parents’ generation.”

Sir Simon’s intervention comes after the chairman of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, accused Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock of breaching Parliamentary convention by failing to respond to a report on social care reform.

The report found that an extra £8 billion was needed to fix an “underfunded” social care system in which 1.4 million people aren’t receiving the care they need and the workforce is “underpaid and undervalued”.

Mr Hancock warned last month that social care reform could be further delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

ICG Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “We applaud Sir Simon’s call for a social care plan, but ask: why wait for a year? What we need is a plan set out and delivered within a year.

“The sector is in crisis now and has been for some time. We need to see a firm date and the government held accountable for keeping to that date. ”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We know there’s a need for a long-term solution for social care and there are complex questions to address.

“We will bring forward a plan that puts social care on a sustainable footing to ensure the reforms will last long into the future.”


Tags : FundingLegislationNHS

The author Lee Peart

1 Comment

  1. NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said plans for social care reform need to be in place within a year. This is all well and good, but is Social Care in the UK in a state to last a year. Within Social Care there are lives of vulnerable people, both children and adults and their families and as every day passes the state of Social Care is having an impact on these vulnerable people and their families.. Any deterioration in care being given or its withdrawal to these persons is diminishing their standard of life and eventually their lives will end due to these reductions in care.

    With regards to people with Learning Disabilities their mortality is already 20% below that of people who do not have Learning Disabilities due to some extent their disabilities.. That, in itself, is not right, for the continued reductions, due to lack of funding, for Social Care, is a factor which could increase the this gap in mortality, thereby increasing the early death rates, when everything should be being done to reduce the gap.

    None of these persons asked to be born with their disabilities and nor did their families, so the state should be doing all they can to reduce the gap, rather than, at present, the inaction is doing the reverse.

    This is a disgrace for which this and previous Governments should be taken to task, for promises are easily made, especially when nothing is done or said when the promises are not forthcoming.

    The Governments and those in those Governments should be ashamed.

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