Social care ‘must be at the top table’

Social care must be fully represented when collaborative arrangements for local services are implemented under plans set out in the government’s social care white paper, a leading figure has argued.

In a speech to the NHS Confederation Expo making the case for new models of community care, National Care Forum chief executive Vic Rayner called for greater collaboration across health and social care to improve out of hospital care and provide more support to people closer to home.

“The social care reform paper has huge ambitions to enable integrated care and health for people,” Rayner said.  “Yet there must be robust social care voices at the top table and opportunities for social care providers to share their wealth of knowledge and expertise at the heart of the health and care system.”

Under the new Health and Social Care Act 2022 every locality will have an Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Integrated Care Partnerships from 1 July, statutory bodies bringing the NHS and social care together locally.  Clinical commissioning groups will be abolished.

Rayner added that there was a need for innovation in developing new community care models that could meet the needs of a changing society post-covid and include “people who have been left out or excluded from the health and care agenda.”