The Department of Health and Social Care has published its 10-year vision for adult social care which, it says, will help provide greater choice for those receiving care and certainty over costs.
The white paper is part of the government’s wider social care plans, including the integration of white paper, the Health and Care Bill and reforms to the public health system, and is backed by £5.4 billion, which for the first time provides a limit to the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system, significantly increasing state support.
The transformed social care system will apply to people in both residential and at home care and will set daily living costs at a lower rate than originally proposed. The government says this will help people to save money, meaning that it will be unlikely that people will be forced to sell their homes to cover costs of care.
As part of the white paper, the government has also set out details of how the £1 billion investment for system reform will be spent over the next 3 years to improve the lives of those who receive care, as well as their families and carers.
The funding, will be funded through the 1.25% Health and Social Care levy, will help pay for:
- the range and amount of new supported housing to be increased through £300 million in housing investment, to help local authorities offer greater choice, care and support, alongside a new practical service to make repairs and changes in peoples’ homes to help them remain safe and either stay with their families or live independently in accordance with their wishes
- new technology and digitisation backed by at least £150 million to improve care quality and safety, support independent living and allow staff to provide focused care where it is needed. For example acoustic sensors which monitor movement will help residents sleep uninterrupted and allow carers to monitor them safely and be alerted if needed. Digital care records will be updated to make sure all caregivers have the latest up-to-date details to provide the best support possible
- the 1.5 million strong adult social care workforce will see a record £500 million invested so they have the opportunity to progress in their careers with training and qualifications while providing an even better standard of care. This will help recognise their valued skills and prioritise their wellbeing with greater support for their mental health
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“The pandemic has been an important turning point for social care, putting into the spotlight the incredible work the sector delivers day in and day out and highlighting the urgent need for change.
This 10-year vision clearly lays out how we will make the system fairer and better to serve everyone, from the millions of people receiving care to those who are providing it.
We are investing in our country’s future – boosting support to help people live at home with their families for longer and ensuring that health and care work hand in hand so people get the help they need.”
Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said:
“The lives of millions of people will be improved by our plans for social care supported by significant investment for system reform to deliver the person centred care we need.
We promised to come forward with proposals to improve social care and that is exactly what we are doing.
Our fantastic care staff, people who receive care and their families deserve a care system which works for them and these plans are the next step in helping make it a reality.”
The wider reform programme will also include:
- £70 million to assist local authorities and improve the delivery and standard of care
- an increase to the upper limit of the Disabled Facilities Grant for home adaptations such as stairlifts, wetrooms and home technologies to allow people to live where they want to and increase the options for care
- up to £25 million to work with the sector to kickstart a change in the services provided to support unpaid carers, to boost support and increase access to respite services giving them much needed support and a break
- a new national website to provide easily accessible information for the public on social care and at least £5 million to pilot new ways to help people understand and access the care and support available
More details will be set out in due course as work continues to develop the plans set out in the white paper.