Thank you for your email yesterday about dementia care. I absolutely agree that a solution needs to be found and I commend the work of the Alzheimer’s Society and their campaign to solve this funding crisis. I am sure the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, is acutely aware of the need for a proper solution.
This is a hugely challenging issue for any government to get right, which is probably why a solution has not been found and why consultations and green papers have been delayed again and again. The Government has committed though to seeking a cross-party consensus on a long-term solution, which was featured quite heavily in the most recent Queen’s Speech.
The Government is currently producing a Social Care Green Paper, which will consider a range of proposals to improve social care, as well as funding options to ensure our social care system is able to meet the needs of our ageing society and is placed on a sustainable footing for the long term. In the Spending Round in September, an extra £1.5 billion was made available to councils for adult social care services. This funding should be viewed as a significant down payment as we move towards a long term funding solution. Money alone will not fix the problem and reform is needed to encourage high standards across the whole country. It is vital for us to consider ways of better joining up health and care services, and I am encouraged by the use of the Better Care Fund to assist local government and the NHS with the implementation of integrated health and care services.