MPs call for more holistic approach to improving social care

28 Mar 18

A cross-party group of 98 MPs has called for a parliamentary commission to come up with a more ‘whole system’ improvement to funding of social care.  

A letter sent to Theresa May last week included the signatures of 21 select committee chairs and expressed concern that the government’s forthcoming green paper on social care focused only on older adults.

“We are seriously worried that a green paper addressing the funding solely of social care for older adults will fail to make progress,” said the letter, sent on Friday last week and written by Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health and social care select committee.

“There is an urgent need to take a whole system approach, including prevention, if we are to reduce future demand.”

It added : “A growing number of us, from across the Commons, and more importantly the wider public, want to see a break in the political deadlock that has prevented a realistic approach to increasing resources both to address the current situation and to take a long term view of future funding.”

The MPs called for an independent parliamentary commission to be set up to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS this year, which would look at health and social care as a whole. 

They want the commission to look at areas including the likely scale of demand up to 2034, quality improvement and net cost to the taxpayer of health and social care. 

Wollaston also said in a tweet more MPs wanted to sign the letter but could not because of parliamentary positions they held. 

 

 

See her tweet with the letter below. 

 

 

Charity heads at a health and social care select committee meeting on Monday also called for the government to take a more ‘holistic’ approach to improving social care funding.  

When asked about the exclusion of working age adults from the government green paper, Anna Bird, executive director of policy and research at disability charity Scope, said: “Any sustainable funding solution needs to provide a system that works for all people who need care and support.”

Neil Heslop, chief executive of charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, called for all demographics requiring care to be included in the green paper: “We absolutely think that [the green paper] should be one integrated approach.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, admitted she was surprised that the green paper focused only on older people.

She added: “The Care and Support Alliance, which I chair, stands for decent care for anyone who needs it, whether they are a younger person, older person and indeed support for carers.”

Last week, social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the upcoming green paper would spark a funding debate.

CIPFA research, released in November last year, found that children’s social care was the biggest concern for council CFOs.

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