The King's Fund responds to the Government's adult social care White Paper

1 Dec 2021 03:58 PM

Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund commented on the publication of the government’s adult social care reform White Paper, People at the Heart of Care 

‘This White Paper is the final part of the government’s plan to fix social care, alongside funding reform and the funding settlement announced in the Spending Review. Taken together, the government’s commitments do not match the ambition set out by the Prime Minister or the urgency of change that the people who draw on care and support rightly expect to see. 

‘The overall vision in the White Paper is the right one and if delivered could significantly improve the experience of people receiving care and those who work in the sector. However, the steps outlined don’t go fast or far enough to achieve this vision and the funding allocated to deliver it is insufficient. In particular, although there are some welcome commitments on training and skills for staff, there is little to tackle poor workforce pay and conditions and high vacancy levels in the sector. 

‘There are some positive proposals such as the focus on giving higher priority to developing better options for housing – an area that has been under-developed in the UK until now but has the potential to make a significant difference to supporting people to live independently in their communities.  

‘But there is nothing in the proposals to deal with some of the most urgent and immediate problems currently facing the sector including high levels of unmet need and a fragile provider market. There is also a lack of new, practical measures to empower people to have personal choice and control over the care they receive.  

‘Far from fixing social care as the Prime Minister promised, the government’s plans mean social care services will continue to face significant challenges in supporting people who rely on them to live independent and fulfilling lives.’ 

Notes to editors

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform white paper