MPs: lack of social care plan undermines health reforms
A report by the health select committee into government reforms of the NHS has found the lack of a fully funded plan for social care has the potential to destabilise integrated care system (ICS) proposals.
The committee’s inquiry into the Department of Heath and Social Care’s Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care White Paper urged new legislation should impose a duty on the Health Secretary to publish a ten-year plan with detailed costings, within six months of the Bill receiving Royal Assent.
The report said the social care sector “needs reassurance that both the structural and financial problems it faces will be tackled by the government in a timely way”.
The select committee also recommends the Bill gives the Care Quality Commission (CQC) powers to give Ofsted-style ratings for local authority social care provision but that these are not enacted until the ten-year social care plan is published later this year and there has been full consultation with local government.
“We broadly support the proposed changes provided the new ICS are held accountable for the quality and safety of care delivered through transparent CQC assessments. But we remain concerned about glaring omissions, including the lack of social care reform, and a much-needed overhaul of workforce planning,” said health and social care committee chairman Jeremy Hunt (pictured).
“If such issues are addressed the government has an opportunity to deliver a post-pandemic watershed '1948 moment' for the health and care system, matching the significance of the year the NHS was founded. But if they are not, it will be a wasted opportunity to deliver the truly integrated care required by an ageing population,” he added.