11 Jun 2024

The Conservative Party manifesto is more of the same for social care. In 2019, Boris Johnson promised he had an oven-ready plan to fix social care. This proved to be soundbite over substance.

The government scrambled to produce a White Paper, People at the Heart of Care, which reflected the transformative vision of the Care Act 2014. Whilst the principles were sound, the system has lacked the investment and policy architecture needed to realise them. Many of today's challenges – unmet need; poor commissioning; fragmented services; unstable markets; a struggling workforce; declining quality; and ineffective regulation - stem from failure to align resources and incentives with the goals of the Act and later reform proposals.

The Conservatives say they will implement a cap on social care costs from October 2025. This is what they promised five years ago when they had a large majority and we have seen little tangible progress.

Our manifesto sets out a roadmap for action for an incoming government. We want to see policies enabling people to remain at home, with a focus on early support and prevention. Collaboration across health, care, housing, and the voluntary sectors is vital. So is amplifying the voices of those needing and giving care. We need investment in the workforce as well as in technology solutions, which enable us to meet rising demand and complexity of need. Pooling risk and investing adequately is crucial for improving accessibility to care. More funding will enable commissioning for value and outcomes, effective regulation, and high-quality provision.

CEO of the Homecare Association, Dr Jane Townson OBE said:

“Caring for each other is a fundamental human need and underpins our survival and evolution as a species. Politicians who ignore this are ignoring what is important to most of us.

"Today, dramatic demographic shifts are increasing the demand for care services. To cope with this, we must change our approach.

"We need to transform how we fund, provide, and enable access to care.

"With smart strategies, collaboration, and investment, we can build a future where more of us remain healthy for longer. Supporting people to live well at home must be at the heart of government policy.”

The full manifesto can be read here

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