Back in July, the Prime Minister made clear on the steps of Downing Street that sorting out adult social care was one of his key domestic priorities. In response, we outlined three key things that social care needs from Government – short-term funding to cover the next year and avoid things getting even worse, improvements to longer-term funding, and a long-term plan for adult social care that will put social care on an equal footing with the NHS.

Now the upcoming Queen’s Speech represents another opportunity for the Government to focus on the future of care and support. The Spending Round announcement saw that much needed short-term funding.  This welcome injection, while less than the sum we had previously argued was necessary, is enough to provide some certainty over the coming year. With this in mind, ADASS President Julie Ogley has, this week, written to the Minister for Care, and Shadow Ministers to reiterate what ADASS knows is needed, and call for a cross-party discussion to create something truly fit for the twenty-first century.

Social care makes a real difference to enable us to live the lives we want to lead when we are older or disabled, or caring for family members. President of ADASS, Julie Ogley, said: “We should all be able to receive good quality care and help when we need it most. All politicians need to look towards the long term future of social care so that this can be a reality. It is potentially all our futures.

“The people who rely on essential social care cannot keep relying on emergency, one-off funding to ensure the continuation of their care and support. Although short-term support announced in the Spending Round was, of course welcome, we need to continue working with the government, partners, and most importantly, those who receive care and support to look at how adult social care is funded in the long-term and an adult social care plan that will ensure absolutely everyone can access the care and support they need.”

Any solution needs to work for all of us, regardless of how much money we have or where we live. It needs to ensure that all of us that need it can access care and support that is built around our lives, circumstances, and needs. It needs to be personalised and promote our independence and enable us to live with dignity in our families and communities. It should meet the needs of the growing number of us living longer and with increasingly complex needs, and able to deal with the challenges of the coming decades, not simply the challenges of the next parliamentary term or the next spending cycle. 

Forward-looking long-term funding will then enable us to achieve the final ask – a long term plan for social care.  The Queen’s Speech must be the next step in the journey or could we say The Queen’s Speech could be the next step on what could be a fabulous journey. The millions of us who rely on social care, care for family or friends and work in social care cannot afford another missed opportunity.