Sir, In 2014, I headed an independent commission for The King’s Fund on how health and social care could be brought together and funded adequately. We proposed a long-term strategy to move towards a more integrated system, with a simpler path for those in need and a far fairer sharing of the burden of long-term care across the population.
After the 2015 election, and then the effective abandonment of the Dilnot reforms (which could have freed families from fear of catastrophic costs), the commission expressed its deepening concern ahead of the spending review. We said then: “The government now appears to have no strategy whatever to tackle the rising and pressing needs for social care.” I am appalled that more than a year later this remains true.
The sticking plaster of a little more council tax simply will not do. It is vital that the government sets this issue squarely before the public and is honest about the cost of a solution that will enable those needing social care, young and old, to live in dignity.