Responding to the Queen's Speech, Nuffield Trust Deputy Director of Policy Natasha Curry said:
"Further delay to social care reform is a betrayal of the promises made by this government in its manifesto to give people who need care the dignity and security they deserve. From the absence of any detail included in the speech today, it seems the commitments from the Prime Minister are becoming vaguer as time goes on.
"How can the country 'level up' when many people are unable to access the care they need to live fulfilling, independent lives; no one is protected against catastrophic costs; and care workers are underpaid and undervalued? The devastating impact of the pandemic on the already fragile care sector should be the wake-up call needed to bring forward proposals urgently.
"The NHS Bill included today has the potential to bring together health and social care services more closely - the pandemic has shown why that is important. But the NHS has been through many restructures before. The government should be very cautious about a Whitehall power grab from the NHS and seeing this as an answer to the challenges ahead.
"NHS staff have a huge task ahead of them to work through record waiting lists and a backlog of care built up from the pandemic. The government has acknowledged that more financial support will be needed, but the costs of Covid will be felt for many years to come, and a package of longer-term funding will be ultimately needed."
Notes to editors
- The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.
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