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Press release

The King's Fund responds to NAO report on adult social care

Responding to the publication today of Reforming adult social care in England by the National Audit Office (NAO), Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow, The King’s Fund, said:

‘The National Audit Office report shows that Department of Health and Social Care is struggling to deliver even the limited reforms to adult social care that it has promised. It is particularly worrying that progress on workforce reform – the scale of which had already been reduced – is glacial, with the only real action being in international recruitment. Development of a career pathway for care workers – a critical reform given vacancies in the sector – has stalled. Plans for the Care Quality Commission to assess local authorities’ social care performance have also been delayed.

‘The only positive news is in digital and data, where digitisation of social care records is progressing, albeit more slowly than planned. Altogether, with the introduction of a cap on lifetime care costs already delayed to 2025, this programme of reform represents only a small sliver of what was promised by the government in 2021. The NAO raises serious doubts about whether even this will be delivered before the next election. At a time when adult social care has never faced more profound problems, with record numbers of people requesting support, this is an utterly inadequate response.’

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.

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