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LGA: social care needs 1948 moment

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for immediate government action on social care as part of a new long-term plan to “build back better” from the pandemic in the spirit of post-war reform.

The body that represents local councils said the government should publish its proposals for the future of adult social care before the summer parliamentary recess.

Immediate priorities include funding to meet the continuing costs of Covid-19 on social care, particularly on the care workforce and unpaid carers, as well as investment to tackle the funding gap between the cost of providing care and what councils pay.

That should help pave the way to a “more properly funded, person-centred form of care that puts people in control of their lives” and recognises their agency, it said.

“Working closely with communities and the NHS to invest in prevention, reduce health inequalities and build on new health and care partnerships announced in the recent White Paper, this should ensure health and care services best support people to live the lives they want to lead in their own homes and communities,” the LGA added.

Social care reform needs to tackled with the same “zeal and spirit of hope” that led to the creation of the NHS.

“This year’s Spending Review and the government’s expected publication of its proposals for the future of care should also address some fundamental questions, including about what we want social care to be and what kind of care we want for ourselves and each other,” it added.

“Social care also should be recognised as part of the solution to building flourishing and connected communities, in the wake of the pandemic.”

Cllr Ian Hudspeth (pictured), chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “A better future for adult social care must be one of the legacies of COVID-19, which should include action on funding, workforce, meeting demand, improving choice and quality of care.

“We need a ‘1948 moment’ which inspired the creation of the NHS for the long-term future of social care, especially in light of the devastating consequences of the pandemic for those drawing on and working in care and their families,” he added.

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