politics

Boris Johnson gets 'clear plan' as Labour and Tories unite on social care issues


Boris Johnson has been handed a ready-made plan to rescue long-neglected social care services.

The PM promised to “fix” the broken system in his first speech on the steps of No10 when he took office two years ago, vowing: “My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care.”

Since then tens of thousands have sold their homes to pay for care and more than 40,000 care home residents have died of Covid.

Now a cross-party alliance of Tory ex-ministers, employers, carers and unions have come up with a plan and are demanding he “gets on with it”.



Elderly woman with carer
The social care plan includes 12 points

Proposals by the Future Social Care Coalition include combining the care system with the NHS and improving pay and training for carers.

Christina McAnea, co-chair of the coalition and Unison chief, said: “Social care has been the forgotten frontline of the pandemic. There’s been a multitude of promises from the PM but absolutely no tangible plans.

“Action is needed now and our plan has been written by those who know what a dire state the sector is in. Social care must become a source of national pride, held in the same esteem as the NHS.”



Helen Whately
Social Care Minister Helen Whately spoke about the need for reforms

Critics fear the plans will cost too much.

But the coalition says its proposal to boost the pay of 1.5million care workers would cost just £742million – compared to £35billion earmarked for the failing NHS test and trace.

Social Care Minister Helen Whately told MPs last week there was a “once in a generation opportunity to build a care system for the future” but failed to give any specifics.

12-point plan for social care

Boris Johnson promised reforms upon becoming PM and in the last Budget and Queen’s Speech – but now says they will be announced before the end of the year.

The coalition, backed by former Tory ministers including Jeremy Hunt, plus Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, carers and unions, wants action now.

Its 12-point plan includes:

  • A service more closely integrated with the NHS to provide the elderly and vulnerable with the care they need;
  • Funding to prevent the elderly having to sell their homes to pay for care;
  • A national register of those in need;
  • An increase in pay for carers to at least the real living wage of £9.50 an hour;
  • Planned holiday breaks for unpaid family carers;
  • New national professional and training standards for social care;
  • Action to give social care the same public esteem as the NHS;
  • A Royal College for Social Care.





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