Queen’s Speech Says Social Care Reforms ‘Will Be Brought Forward’
Social care reforms will be brought forward to this year’s Government legislative agenda, in an encouraging announcement from the Queen’s Speech.
The speech, which took place earlier today (11 May), saw Her Majesty announce proposals on social care reform "will be brought forward”.
Reform has been promised since 2017 when the social care green paper was first announced, but nothing has yet materialised.
Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell’s report with Cebr from February 2020 found that without Government intervention, the UK will reach a shortage of beds in residential homes by 2029.
The report also looked into the stats around the UK’s ageing population, finding the projected number of people over 65 will rise from 12.6m in 2020 to 15.4m in 2030 - accounting for 22% of the UK population.
Later life planning experts say the announcement is encouraging, but warn social care has been on the agenda for years without any progress.
Expert Opinion“It’s good to hear that the Government has plans to bring forward social care reforms in the coming year, but without any concrete details nobody should expect any significant change for some time.
“Our report with Cebr last year identified 2029 as the tipping point for the social care system to collapse and unfortunately, other than positive noises from Government there has been little progress since then.
“Carers have done an incredible job under such trying circumstances in the pandemic, and the Government handed out £1.8bn to the care industry during the pandemic, but this doesn’t change the fact that the care system needs a radical overhaul to work for our ageing population.
“The system is unfair; according to the Alzheimer’s Society, as of 2019 the cost of care for someone with Alzheimer’s is anywhere between £100-500k. The cost of care is now so prohibitive that some people are forced to sell the family home to afford it. In comparison, cancer and heart disease treatment are available for free on the NHS.
“It’s therefore well overdue for reform, but how this is achieved is difficult to say. The Alzheimer’s Society’s calls for free care are a Holy Grail situation at the moment, but it needs to be funded from somewhere. It may be, as our care crisis report outlines that we can begin to achieve this with taxation or tax incentive schemes like a pension to pay for care.” Stewart Stretton-Hill - Senior Associate Solicitor