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The Health and Social Care Levy does not address social care’s immediate challenges
Today the Prime Minister has made some significant announcements to support Social care. At QCS, we cautiously welcome the announcement.
Hopefully the Health and Social Care Levy, will pump £36 billion pounds into health and care over the next three years. If this happens it will prove to be a game changer for the social care sector by providing it with the funding that it so badly needs.
But, as is often the case with government announcements, the devil is in the detail. Over the next three years the NHS is set to receive £30 billion of the new funding to clear patient backlogs, which have grown significantly during the pandemic.
The question is, where does this leave social care? How will the sector cope and will £5.4 billion over three years be enough to keep the sector afloat? The millions of stellar front-line care workers, who have gone about their work quietly demonstrating dedication, courage and resilience throughout, desperately need more support.
The government’s stated intention today to ‘cap care costs over the course of a person’s lifetime to £86,000 and ensure those who fund their own care do not pay more than state-funded individuals for the equivalent standard of care’ is certainly bold. It remains to be seen however if they are really committed to putting in place the financial and structural resources this requires.
Care professionals deserve to work in a social care system which pays them a fair wage and a sector where funding is protected. Most of all, they need to feel that they – and the service users they care for - are in control of funding and are a fundamental part of the decision-making process.
That is the litmus test for long standing reforms and what the Health and Social Care Levy must deliver if it is to effect lasting change. I wait to see if it does.
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