Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Jeremy Hunt: Councils 'must be at the heart' of social care debate

  • 1 Comment

Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged local government to lead the debate about the future of social care services.

While Mr Hunt said the country needs answers to “profound, long-standing questions about funding” of social care, he warned “the challenges facing us today have been long in the making and resolving them will also take time”.

Writing for the Local Government Association’s latest First magazine, Mr Hunt said: “We need to build a new consensus across society, built on an informed debate around what we are willing to contribute versus what we expect to receive. It means a system that retains an element of risk-pooling, while preserving the historic principle of a shared partnership between the state and the individual. The green paper will also bring forward ideas on how to do this, and what the cost implications will be.

“With five green or white papers, numerous policy papers, and four independent reviews into social care over the last 20 years, we are experiencing the effects of repeated, failed reform programmes. The reality is that the challenges facing us today have been long in the making and resolving them will also take time.

“But that must not be an excuse to put off necessary reforms, nor must it delay the debate we need to have with the public about where the funding for social care should come from in the future. We will need local government to be an important ally in making the case, and leading that conversation this summer.”

Mr Hunt said he is “seeing new levels of collaboration” between local government and the NHS. He also welcomed the “positive steps” to reduce delayed transfers of care from hospital by 8% since 2017.

“This reflects the huge contributions that many authorities have made to local system planning ahead of winter and strengthens the symbiotic relationship between the NHS and social care,” said Mr Hunt. However, he added: “Yet for all the successes, nobody working in the care system would deny that the picture remains challenging.”

As a result the social care green paper “could not be more important”, said Mr Hunt. “Seventy years on from the passage of legislation that essentially created our modern care system, we need fundamental reform to reinvent it for a modern society. The voice of local government, with its unique expertise and insights into the needs of 21st century communities, must be at the heart of the debate.”

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • the term " 21st century communities " comes up...what does that actually mean....

    People want care which meets their needs free at the point of use, social care should be delivered on the same basis as medical health needs are met in the nhs.

    A society is judged by how it treats its elderly and vulnerable. People who work in care should be reasonably paid, its should be delivered by not for profit orgnisations, care standards should be high and inspected, it should be funded by general taxation. If needs be introduce a flat 10% tax on all inheritance.

    No need for a great debate or complex market mechanisms, rationing,co payments, direct payments,just organise it as a national care system delivered locally by local authorities but fully funded from a ring fenced grant,with costs and value for money inspected by the Council's external auditors.

    The current rationing of care, delayed hospital discharge,poorly managed independent care homes, end of life care in parts of the country are all deeply shocking. We have the elderly in winter, waiting hours in A and E for care, struggling to cope as carers for partners, people living in fear and dread.

    We dont need a national debate we need action and a government that galvernises and funds that action, people in need are our brothers and sisters, mum and dads and one day its our turn to need help. Are we so poor we cant care for those that need care?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.