Labour proposals highlight urgent need for reform of social care

Heath Foundation response to Labour Party’s proposals for social care

23 September 2019

Following the publication today of the Labour Party's report Towards a National Care Service, Hugh Alderwick, Assistant Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said:

'The social care system in England is in crisis and in urgent need of reform. Labour's proposals for free personal care for older adults and a cap on lifetime care costs is a welcome recognition of the need to change the way we provide care and support for some of the most vulnerable in society.

'However, free personal care would not cover all social care costs – and so wouldn't on its own address the risk of potentially catastrophic costs for people with the greatest care needs. A cap on lifetime care costs is mentioned in Labour's proposals, but there is little detail on what this would look like and where the cap would be set. These details are important for people and their families. Any credible reform proposals also need to consider the care needs of younger disabled adults, who make up around half the cost of the adult social care system. 

'Reform to the social care system is badly needed. But the immediate priority for any government should be stabilising the existing system, including by meeting growing demand for care and boosting staff pay. Investment is also needed in the short term to improve access to publicly funded care so that more people get the support they need.'

Media contact

Creina Lilburne
Creina.Lilburne@health.org.uk
020 7664 4647

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