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Build Back Better: The Government’s Plan for Health and Social Care

Yesterday (7 September 2021), the government’s new plan for healthcare, adult social care, and new funding plan was unveiled.

The paper Build Back Better: Our plan for health and social care provides an overview of how this plan will tackle the electives backlog in the NHS and put the NHS on a sustainable footing. It sets out details of the plan for adult social care in England, including a cap on social care costs and how financial assistance will work for those without substantial assets. It covers wider support that the government will provide for the social care system, and how the government will improve the integration of health and social care. It explains the government’s plan to introduce a new Health and Social Care Levy.

Here are some extracts from the plan that impact Carers or refer to Carers.

We must also address the challenges in adult social care. The pandemic has placed significant pressure on the sector. But even before the pandemic there were problems in the sector. People in England were required to pay for all of their care needs in full, right down to £23,250, at which point the state would start to provide some support. At an already difficult time in their lives, people suffering medical conditions such as dementia faced losing their life savings. Successive governments have pledged to reform the system but none have brought about long-term change.

We will bring the health and the social care systems more closely together – so that people are cared for in the most appropriate place for their needs, whether at hospital, in care or at home. We will protect individuals and families against unpredictable and potentially catastrophic care costs – so that from October 2023, no eligible person starting adult social care will have to pay more than £86,000 for personal care over their lifetime.

NHS England and Improvement will ensure the system is flexible so that people can access rapid advice when they need it….. We will introduce a new system which gives patients and their carers the ability to arrange follow-up appointments as and when they need them.

The Government is committed to creating a sustainable adult social care system that is fit for the future, alongside its programme of wider healthcare reform……In England, the Government will work with leaders in Local Government and the social care sector, service users and carers, as well as the NHS Chief Executive and the NHS, to develop and publish a White Paper for reforming adult social care, which will commence a once in a generation transformation to adult social care.

Therefore, the Government will: take steps to ensure that the 5.4 million unpaid carers have the support, advice and respite they need, fulfilling the goals of the Care Act.

People who use health and social care must be put at the centre of the services that they use. An integrated care system aims to join up the range of health and social care services that patients might receive, bridging the gaps that patients, care users and their families are too often left to navigate alone.

Over the next few months, the government will continue to work with stakeholders to co-produce a vision for adult social care and inform the detail under these commitments. More details will be provided later this year in a White Paper for adult social care.