Members of Parliament and Peers have been urged to come forward to help secure a cross-party consensus on adult social care in a letter from the Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock.
All MPs have been asked to share their views on how to secure a long term, sustainable solution to ensure the reforms will last long into the future.
The Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary have been clear too many people are hit by unpredictably large costs that are hard to plan for and left with little wealth despite a lifetime of hard work and saving. They have committed to the principal that nobody should be forced to sell their home to pay for care, and everybody accessing care has safety and security.
The letter sets out a two-step timeline for social care reform talks. The first phase has begun today, calling for the views of MPs, followed by structured talks on reform options in May.
The talks welcome all views, proposed solutions, and concerns about reforming the way people pay for adult social care. Any solution also needs to consider the financial impact on taxpayers as a whole, and the competing demands on taxpayers’ money from other public services.
Responding to the letter Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“This is welcome news. For too long social care has been a political football in which no-one seems capable of scoring a goal. Instead, for years some of the most vulnerable people have been left to suffer in silence, badly let down by the political class.
“Now we need open minds and imagination and a genuine commitment from all sides to agree a way forward. That means tackling both the immediate crisis of poorly resourced services and workforce shortages, as well as the fundamental question of how we secure a set of long-term funding arrangements that will remove fear and address risk.
“For the NHS this is now mission critical – the health service cannot and will not deliver without social care reform – 92 per cent of health leaders identified this as a key priority for the new government.
“Of course, talks are just the start and they must not be an excuse for further prevarication. We will be looking for funding commitments in next week’s Budget and action in the forthcoming spending review.”