Care England, the largest representative body of independent adult social care providers, has expressed its disappointment that meaningful social care reform, a very live issue, has been kicked into the long grass again.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “This is a missed opportunity. Without the much needed, not to mention heralded, reform it is questionable as to how much longer the sector can be expected to limp on. A sector that supports and employs vast swathes of the population cannot be ignored. We stand ready and willing to help the Government deliver its manifesto commitment, but the Health and Care Bill which has a focus on the NHS, is not the vehicle to deliver this huge shift as it will not produce the system change that is necessary to ensure the future sustainability of the sector”.
Last month Care England was one of the 26 co-signatories, to an open letter to the Prime Minister, emphasising that social care had been on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic with a tragic number of deaths in care homes, over 30,000, and staff, nearly 900. The letter sought to illustrate that the adult social care workforce had demonstrated tremendous commitment and resilience during the pandemic time, but that the sector was on its knees, and was in desperate need of reform in order that it could craft a long-term future, that would protect citizens, reduce the burdens on the NHS and establish good careers in social care.
Martin Green continues: “Sadly, we have been here before and it is simply unfathomable as to what will influence the Government to bring about reform; surely they can’t be waiting for provider failure and further chaos in the already overstretched NHS. The oven-ready plan is truly burning, or maybe the Government forgot to ever put it in the oven.”