NHS Confederation Chief Executive Niall Dickson has said 2019 needs to be the year that social care is fixed.
During a speech at the Westminster Health Forum yesterday, Niall said social care deserved a “similar type of settlement” to that delivered in the recently published NHS 10-year plan.
The chief executive told the conference there was a risk that NHS support would be undermined by the neglect of social care.
“The two services are interdependent,” Niall said.
“There is a need for healthcare leaders to step forward to help social care.”
The NHS Confederation leader said social care should be granted “parity of esteem” with health care and called for immediate funding to stabilise the sector as well as a long term funding settlement.
Niall said there was real regret within the NHS that the government had not announced its Social Care Green Paper in tandem with its NHS 10-year Plan.
“We are not taking this seriously,” the chief executive noted.
He highlighted growing pressures on the social care system with the number of 85 year olds expected to double over the next 15 years.
“We are not yet at the dawn of a new era for social care,” Niall warned.
The NHS leader highlighted the many false dawns the sector had witnessed, including the Dilnot report in 2011 and Care Act 2014.
He cautioned that it had taken 10 years to introduce radical change in social care in Germany and Japan.
Niall cited the fact that social care was not a universal service, a lack of understanding and the failure to bring the public on board with the need for reform, as reasons for the sector’s neglect.