Community and Social Care Minister Alistair Burt has told MPs that the Government does not support the call for an independent Commission on the NHS and social care.
Speaking during yesterday’s debate in the House of Commons on a proposed commission, the Minister argued that the Government had ‘put in place the financing that we believe will allow the delivery of health and social care over the next few years’. On social care he noted that the spending review had:
1) Allocated an additional £3.5bn to the Better Care Fund
2) Allowed local councils to enact a 2% precept to raise social care funds
Earlier in the debate former Care Services Minister Norman Lamb MP called for an “independent, non-partisan Commission on the future of the NHS and social care” to establish a long-term settlement for the NHS and social care. He added that both the NHS and Social Care face “existential challenges” which must be dealt with.
He called on the Government to rethink their position on the commission, and said that he would continue to campaign for the NHS and social care.
Ahead of the debate, the Care and Support Alliance briefed MPs, outlining the need for a sustainable settlement for social care. Many contributions to the debate reflected our concerns.
Shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander, said she had witnessed first-hand the soaring costs of adult social care and particularly emphasised the impact this was having on older people.
Former Shadow Older People and Care Minister Liz Kendall MP (Lab) argued the introduction of the 2% precept and the additional money to the Better Care Fund would not be enough to fill the social care funding gap.
Meanwhile, Maria Caulfield MP (Con), a nurse still working within the NHS highlighted budget differences between social care and the NHS. Caroline Flint MP (Lab), noted “the challenge remains to put in place a social care funding system that is fair to people of different income levels.” Jeremy Lefroy MP (Con) agreed and added that social care budgets should be ring-fenced.
The Care and Support Alliance will be closely monitoring the progress of the campaign for a Commission, as we continue to campaign for greater investment in care so that those who need care get the help they need.