MPs call for 10-year social care plan

A cross-party committee of MPs has called on ministers to publish a 10-year plan for social care, with detailed costings.

In a report on the Government’s White Paper on health and care reform, the Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee says that without secure long-term funding, problems which have “bedevilled the care sector for decades” would not be resolved.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The absence of a long-term, fully funded plan for social care has the potential to destabilise other proposed health and care reforms. 

“A clear timeline is urgently needed from government on when concrete proposals will be brought forward.”

The White Paper proposals include improving integration of care and health services and the introduction of statutory integrated care systems (ICs) – measures now included in the Health and Care Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The committee is supportive of these proposals, provided proper accountability mechanisms are put in place. The Secretary of State, at the committee’s suggestion, has committed to include provisions in the bill to enable the Care Quality Commission to undertake ratings of ICSs.

Cllr Fothergill said the LGA supports the aim of greater transparency in social care but has significant concerns about the recommendation for Ofsted-style ratings for councils’ social care services.

“Assurance needs to build on existing sector-led improvement support, recognise local democratic accountability and give a meaningful voice to people who draw on social care,” he said.

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