I believe that improving the quality of elderly care in the UK should be one of our highest priorities. 1.4 million people work in the country’s social care sector, and their work is generally excellent.
Caring for the elderly is one of the most significant challenges facing our society. The independent Care Quality Commission (CQC) is expected to hold our care system to the highest possible standards, and has recently completed a comprehensive survey of social care in England. CQC ratings are authoritative and independent, and publicly available, so people can make well-informed choices when they come to choosing a care home.
The latest report from the CQC has found that, despite financial pressure, four out of five adult social care services in England rated good or outstanding. The CQC report has, however, highlighted areas for concern, such as the regional disparity in quality of care, and the rate of improvement of care services. I will make every effort to persuade the Government to build on its recent improvements to social care.
Whilst it is clear that money alone will not solve all the difficulties faced by our care sector, the Chancellor announced in the 2017 Spring Budget an additional £2 billion investment in 2017-18 and 2019-20 to aid councils in England improve social care and relieve pressure on the rest of the NHS. This funding will be supplemented by measures to rapidly improve areas in need of greatest improvement. Over the following three years, councils will have access to £9.25 billion funding for social care.
Furthermore, the Department of Health is implementing Quality Matters, a vital scheme committed to improving the care sector for patients, families, and carers alike. This scheme makes it clear care home providers must be transparent and work closely with the public, to develop care homes which are not only of the highest quality possible, but adapted to the needs of their locality.