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Tuesday, 02 June 2015

Hunt refuses to rule out further adult social care cuts

Written by The Press Association

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out further cuts to adult social care in the new parliament.

The Tory frontbencher said the Government would take "full account" of the inter-relationship between NHS and social care provision.

But he told MPs he could not give details of the spending settlement today.

During health questions in the Commons, shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne (pictured) said: "You know that the availability of social care for vulnerable older people has a big impact on the NHS, especially for people with dementia.

"Yet currently 300,000 fewer older people are getting help compared to 2010.

"Given you have said you want to make improving out-of-hospital care your personal priority, can you confirm there will be no further cuts to adult social care during this parliament, which would only put the NHS under even more pressure?"

Mr Hunt replied: "What I can confirm is we actually agree with you and the Opposition that we have to look at adult social care provision alongside NHS provision because the two are very closely linked and have a big impact on each other.

"I can't obviously give you the details of the spending settlement now, but what I will say is we will take full account of that inter-relationship and indeed recognise the importance of the integration of health and social care which needs to happen at pace in this parliament."

According to the Guardian, health service heads are to warn the Government it must guarantee spending on social care as well as on hospitals if the NHS is to survive five more years of austerity.

Dr Johnny Marshall, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, told the newspaper: "Central government needs to provide a strong commitment to solve and stabilise social care funding for the future."

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