Social care reform needed within a year

Sir Simon Stevens has revealed that plans to adequately fund the social care sector need to be in place within a year.

Speaking to the BBC, the NHS England chief executive said that coronavirus crisis had shone a ‘very harsh spotlight’ on the ‘resilience’ of the care system and that there was a need to ‘decisively answer’ how high quality care could be provided long-term.

Stevens told The Andrew Marr Show: "If any good is to come from this, we must use this as a moment to resolve once and for all to actually properly resource and reform the way in which social care works in this country. The reality is that after at least two decades of talking about it, we do not have a fair and properly resourced adult social care system with a proper set of workforce supports."

Political parties have been talking about reforming the sector for the past 20 years. In their 2019 General Election manifesto the Conservatives pledged to find a cross-party solution to reduce pressures on the sector and provide long-term funding. The government also pledged an extra £1 billion per year for social care in England over the next five years.

In England, anyone with assets over £23,250 is expected to pay for some or all of their costs, leading to the prospect of some having to sell their homes to pay for care. In contrast, free personal care is available in Scotland.

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