CARE providers today described the new Health and Care Bill as ‘small baby steps on a huge marathon journey’.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it feared the Government believes it has ‘got social care done’ when it hasn’t.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said:
“The Health and Care Bill begins the process of bringing reform to health and social care and is to be welcomed for that.
“But there is a mountain to climb and this is just the beginning.
“Hospitals cannot discharge patients because there isn’t the care available in the community to do so. Social care is on its knees, with care and nursing homes closing and homecare providers handing back untenable contracts.
“The £36bn is welcome investment but social care needs to see a greater share of that now, rather than in two or three years’ time, by which time it will be too late for many providers.
“We look upon the Health and Social Care Bill as the beginning of a very long journey to reform social care, create a sector that is fit for purpose and properly funded and that recognises, respects and rewards its staff properly.
“If the Government thinks it has got social care done through this Bill then it is sadly mistaken – these are just baby steps on a huge, marathon journey.”
The ICG wants to see:
• A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded
• NHS care and social care merged and managed locally or nationally
• Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation
• Dementia treated and funded like other high priority illnesses
• A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
• Proper pay, conditions and career structure for carers
• Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.