Thank you for contacting me about adult social care.
I believe we must all receive dignified care in old age. With an ageing population, this is one of the biggest challenges our country faces. I support the Government’s commitment to making sure that the most vulnerable in society gain the support they need. While it is important to note that more than 4 of every 5 people in care receive care from good and outstanding organisations, it is clear that more needs to be done to tackle this serious challenge – crucially by securing a long term funding solution. I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has spoken of his determination to tackle this, stating in his first speech as Prime Minister that “we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared, to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve”.
At the Spending Review in November 2020, local authorities were enabled to access over £1 billion of spending for social care, through £300 million of social care grant, and the ability to levy a 3 per cent adult social care precept. This is in addition to the £1 billion social care grant announced during 2019, and the £3 billion provided to local authorities to address COVID-19 pressures, including in adult social care. I know that this Government is committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system, and is planning to bring forward proposals during 2021; I eagerly anticipate further discussion on this issue in the coming months, and will seek to participate in all discussions regarding reform to the social care system.
Money alone will not fix the problem and reform is needed to encourage high standards across the whole country. It is vital for us to consider ways of better joining up health and care services, and I am encouraged by the use of the Better Care Fund to assist local government and the NHS with the implementation of integrated health and care services.
In the Conservative Manifesto it was made clear that we must build the same level of consensus on social care that we have already built on the NHS, across political parties, so that an answer can be brought forward that solves the problem, commands the widest possible support, and stands the test of time. I stand by this commitment, and urge my colleagues and constituents of all political beliefs to take part in a conversation about establishing a care system fit for the 21st century.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP