Social Care

I accept concerns with Social Care which is a really important issue, we need to ensure sustainable care. On this note, you may be interested to know I recently hosted an event, where all of our local GP surgeries were invited, which brought together the NHS, Police, Fire Service, pharmacies, local Borough and County Councils along with the voluntary sector to look at how we can consider a more joined up approach to easing pressures on our NHS, particularly in the areas of loneliness and isolation.

I welcome the recent announcement that by committing additional grant funding of £2 billion to social care in England over the next three years, with new measures to support more joined-up working in the worst-performing authorities, I am encouraged that the Government is responding to calls for further support to Social Care.

Alongside that, the Government will make a further £100 million available immediately for up to 100 new triage projects at A&E in English hospitals in time for next winter.

This will provide immediate benefit to our NHS, and stands alongside our commitment to deliver a £10 billion real terms increase in annual NHS finding by 2020.
 
The Government is giving local authorities additional funding and flexibility so that they will have access to an additional £3.5 billion by 2020, providing a real terms increase in funding by the end of this Parliament.  The Government has announced greater flexibility over the use of the council tax social care precept, so that local authorities can choose to raise extra money. Savings from the New Homes Bonus, totalling £240 million, will be retained by councils for social care. Taken together, this means almost an additional £900 million will be made available over the next two years.

Money alone will not fix the problem and the Government is clear that far-reaching reform is needed to find a long-term sustainable solution which helps local authorities learn from each other to raise standards across the whole system.

The Government is currently producing a Green Paper, which will establish a new social care policy for the future. This will see a care policy which will meet the challenges of an ageing population, and will grapple with how to properly integrate health and social care, and make sure social care is financially sustainable. I acknowledge that there have been many consultations into care policy over the years; however I believe that the upcoming Green Paper will usher in a real cultural change into how we care for the elderly and vulnerable.