THE INDEPENDENT CARE GROUP today called on the Government to add bold social care reform to the Queen’s Speech to prove it has not been forgotten and left to crumble.
The ICG is worried that the Government believes it has ‘got social care done’ and is moving on.
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: “Social care is in crisis and the sector is struggling to deliver care to the millions of older and vulnerable adults who need it.
“We need to see some bold new proposals to save, revive and restore the sector and to properly reward those amazing staff who provide care.
“At least 1.6m people are living without the care they need, care and nursing homes and homecare agencies are closing and the whole sector is facing the worst staffing crisis in living memory. The care we deliver to the most vulnerable is suffering as a result.
“We desperately need to see in the Queen’s Speech that the reforms outlined in the Health and Care Bill are just the start and that the root and branch reform the sector needs is coming next.”
The ICG says the £36bn promised for health and social care over the coming three years will mostly be swallowed up by the NHS.
“Social care needs to see a greater share of that now, rather than in two or three years’ time, by which time it will be too late for many providers,” Mr Padgham added.
“Support for the NHS has to go hand in hand with support for social care as each needs the other to provide complete care for our citizens. The NHS needs a strong, well supported and thriving social care sector to enable it to deliver proper services too.
“Social care is not done – far from it. Next week’s Queen’s Speech offers the Government an opportunity to show that reform is a top priority and the sector has not been abandoned.”
The ICG wants to see:
- A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded
- NHS care and social care merged and managed locally or nationally
- Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation
- Dementia treated and funded like other high priority illnesses
- A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
- Proper pay, conditions and career structure for carers
- Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.