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Tories announce emergency fund for social care

Tories announce emergency fund for social care

The government has announced that it will provide a £240m boost for social care to ease bed-blocking.

At the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham yesterday (2 October), Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health and social care, said the financial boost would be given this winter. 

Mr Hancock said: "Social care is under pressure and we need to improve it but it can’t be done without more money.

"(Prime minister) Theresa May has already pledged £20bn into health and social care over next five years and this will underpin NHS for the long term.

"I am announcing £240m to fund social care packages this winter to support our NHS. This will get people, who don't need to be in hospital, but who do need care, back home and free up hospital beds and help to get people care they deserve."

Steve Ellis, chief executive of Legal & General (L&G) home finance, said: "Delivering the right care for older people is one of the biggest challenges the country faces.

"We are committed to supporting the government and the NHS to fix the long-term care system.

"Informal carers are providing the equivalent of £139bn every year and today’s boost in government funding for social care is welcome.  

"We believe property wealth has a role to play in addressing the care crisis. The lifetime mortgage market can help cover the costs of care, enable older people to stay in their homes for longer, and free up hospital beds for those who need them the most."

During his speech, Mr Hancock made reference to the green paper on social care that is now due to be published in the autumn of this year.

The green paper was set to be published in the summer of this year but was further delayed.

The green paper is set to bring possible solutions to the fore, including the 'Care Isa' – a capped savings product, exempt from inheritance tax – and a 'care pension', which mixes drawdown and care insurance.

Mr Hancock said: "We need a reform of our social care system and will be publishing a report later this year.

"We can't do this without our GPs and they can't provide primary care without resources that they need and that’s why we back our GPs every step of the way."

However, Mr Hancock did not specify the date on which the report will be published.

FTAdviser reported recently (6 September 2018) that the government made hints at the possibility of the green paper on social care being delayed due to "unforeseen circumstances".

rosie.quigley@ft.com