Leaders have voiced their frustration at news that social care reform has been put back to the autumn.
An announcement by the PM had been expected this week but the plans have been delayed amidst criticism of the government’s plans to introduce new tax rises to fund reforms.
The Guardian reported that the government had failed to be able to agree a funding mechanism for the plans after concerns arose over a potential 1p increase in insurance contributions being branded a ‘social care levy’.
Talks were reported to have been further complicated by the forced isolation of the three main government players – the PM, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health & Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid.
Care leaders voiced their anger after news of the further delay.
Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, commented: “The social care sector is subject to yet more delays from the Government. It simply isn’t good enough. We hear excuse after excuse and meanwhile a large percentage of our population are being failed. Let down year on year with minimal support from an underfunded system. The lack of trust from the population is evident – our own research found that just 5% of over 55s have full trust in state care services and believe they would be cared for appropriately if necessary.
“We need to see systematic change from the ground up by reducing the need for care within the UK. This involves a more holistic view of social care for older people. We need the narrative to shift around social care services and make them a last resort, and instead, improve the planning system to facilitate the building of more suitable housing, with care and wellbeing services attached. This is simply the only solution that will take the unsustainable pressure off hospitals and residential care.”
Union and opposition leaders also voiced their anger with UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea saying the government had “raised hopes around reform only to dash them yet again”.
Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Social Care, said: “Every day the Government delays their plans for fixing the crisis in social care is another day that staff don’t get the pay and training they deserve, another day that thousands of people go without the basic help they need, to do things like get up, washed, dressed and fed, and another day that families are pushed to breaking point.
“Ministers must now put in place a ten-year plan for investment and reform that puts social care on a sustainable footing, and provides all older and disabled people with the dignity and security they deserve.”