Health bosses have announced plans to introduce the NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill to Parliament today, with no mention of the social care plan the Prime Minister said would be brought forward this year.
Secretary of state for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock said the bill will enshrine in law an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2024 for the NHS to transform care. And will include a ‘double-lock’ commitment that places a legal duty on both the Secretary of State and the Treasury to uphold this minimum level of NHS revenue funding over the next four years.
‘With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150 billion within 5 years.
‘This funding bill will empower the NHS and its world-class clinicians to deliver our bold plan for the NHS.’
This comes following the Prime Minister’s interview on BBC Breakfast, during which he discussed plans to ‘bring forward’ the government’s social care plan.
He said government will ‘get it done within this Parliament’ and that it will be a ‘potentially massive change in how we fund social care’.
NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said welcomed the Prime Minister’s comments but said the social care system is putting ‘severe strain’ on the NHS.
‘Tackling the social care crisis has been ducked for too long so today it is welcome to hear that the prime minister has committed to bringing forward a plan for social care this year, to be implemented within this parliament.
‘This winter, we are seeing the severe strain that a social care system which does not work for the most vulnerable people is having on the health service. It is patients who pay the price of inaction and are left waiting longer for care and unable to return home despite being medically fit to do so.
‘We urge the government to keep social care reform in its sights as a top priority. The NHS and social care are two sides of the same coin. We can’t make the improvements to the NHS that people want to see without putting social care back on a sustainable footing.’
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said every penny invested in social care helps keep people out of hospitals.
‘People of all ages should be able to live the lives they want to lead and we are pleased to hear the Prime Minister pledge to bring forward a plan for a solution to adult social care this year.
‘Our own social care green paper outlined some key recommendations on how best to urgently resolve this issue, which the government has an opportunity to take forward.
‘Every pound invested by the government in council-run services such as social care helps to relieve pressure on other essential services, like the NHS, keeping people out of hospital and improving their lives for the better.
‘The forthcoming budget is also an important opportunity to address this crucial issue of funding while looking ahead to finding a longer-term, cross-party solution to adult social care, which we at the LGA are happy to play our part in.’
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