Social care neglected again

Aspects of the government’s autumn financial statement, delivered by chancellor Jeremy Hunt on 17 November, have been greeted with dismay by the sector. While the chancellor said funding for the NHS and social care would be increased by up to £8 billion and help to double the number of hospital discharges in 2024, he also said that the promised cap on social care costs would be postponed.
“I fear that for the remainder of this parliament, the ambition for reform of social care has been put on the back burner,” said National Care Forum CEO Vic Rayner. “There is little in this budget that talks to the vision of developing care with people at its heart. Social care is about people, not packages and whilst discharge is vital, great social care changes lives and matters to us all.” She added that the crucial issue of workforce pay had been ignored.
Dementia UK said the extra support for hospital discharge was welcome but inadequate in isolation. “Sadly, hospital discharge is often fragmented, rushed and not reflective of need, contributing to poorer experiences of care and worsening health outcomes,” said head of policy Andrew Pike.
“In May, the government announced it would be producing a 10-year dementia strategy, but this is yet to materialise. We urgently need this pushed back up the agenda, with a fully funded dementia strategy and integrated model of health and social care across both health and social care.”