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Inquiry into social care funding crisis reopened

Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee has reopened its inquiry into the underfunding of social care.

The committee, chaired by former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, aims to establish the impact of the care funding shortfall on patients and the NHS, as well as establishing how much money the system needs over the next five years.

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The inquiry was paused in March due to the upsurge of coronavirus cases in the UK, but has now been reopened.

Discussing the revival of the inquiry, Hunt said: “Social care is in urgent need of reform, not only to deliver the necessary funding, but to support our crucial social care workforce.

“Never has this been more apparent than during the pandemic, as social care staff work above and beyond to protect our most vulnerable people in a hugely challenging situation, with difficulties compounded by historical problems with funding and workforce – we heard this loud and clear at our most recent evidence session.

“The Committee is therefore today relaunching its inquiry into social care funding and reform, with slightly expanded terms of reference, and plans to begin taking oral evidence in June.”

Indeed, in 2019 the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said that social care in England was “failing financially”.

“This situation has a very real and damaging effect on the day-to-day lives of people who need and provide care,” ADASS added.

Social care is a complex problem and one that most parties have shied away from in their manifestos. Now, however, it can no longer be ignored.

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