Intended for healthcare professionals


Social care: Promise to propose reforms later this year is far from reassuring, says committee chair

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 29 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n289
  1. Shaun Griffin
  1. London

The chair of an influential House of Lords committee has rebuked the government’s promise to bring forward proposals “later this year” about how to reform social care in England.

James Bethell, a health minister in England, was responding to a report from the Lords Economic Affairs Committee published in July 2019,1 which called for an extra £8bn (€9bn; $11bn) a year to tackle the “national scandal” of underfunding in the sector. The report said that 1.4 million people over 65 had unmet care needs in 2018, and it called for the government to fund free personal care for people with critical needs through general taxation.

Speaking on behalf of the government at a debate in the House of Lords on 28 January, Bethell said, “I acknowledge the frustration felt by many that there …

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