Over the next three years, the government will spend £1.7bn on improvements to adult social care
“The pandemic has been an important turning point for social care, putting into the spotlight the incredible work the sector delivers day in and day out highlighting the urgent need for change.” Sajid Javid, health and social care secretary
The government has published a white paper setting out its 10-year vision for the future of adult social care.
The paper, People at the Heart of Care, details the government’s plans for its new £1.7bn spending pot, announced in September, on improving adult social care in England
The money, funded through the 1.25% health and social care levy, will be invested over the next three years in five areas:
A large chunk of the money – £500m – will go into training the social care workforce so that they have the appropriate qualifications. Another £300m will be invested in integrating housing into local health and care strategies, with a focus on increasing the range of available supported housing options. The paper says that too many people with care and support needs “live in homes that do not provide a safe or stable environment within which care and support can be effective – whether for older people or those of working age with a physical or learning disability, for autistic people, or for those with long-term mental health conditions.”
While the government intends to provide more people with the option of supported housing, it recognises that most people will continue to live in mainstream housing, the paper says, and it therefore intends to ensure that people can adapt their homes where necessary.
The government will also spend £150m on driving greater adoption of technology and digitisation in social care, with the aim of supporting independent living. This will include, for example, acoustic sensors to monitor movement so that carers can be alerted if there is a problem. Some of it will go on updating digital care records.
Smaller chunks will be spent on:
One of the aims of the funding, the government said, was to help people lead more independent lives.
Health and care secretary Sajid Javid said: “The pandemic has been an important turning point for social care, putting into the spotlight the incredible work the sector delivers day in and day out highlighting the urgent need for change.”
He added that the white paper set out a vision of how the government would make the system “fairer and better to serve everyone, from the millions of people receiving care to those who are providing it.” The investments, he said, would “help people live at home with their families for longer” and ensure that “health and care work hand in hand so people get the help they need.”