Real ‘care crisis’ is lack of funding and staff, Jeremy Hunt warns ministers

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Jeremy Hunt says the real social care crisis – a chronic shortage of funding and staff – is being ignored, while controversy has raged over promises to reduce lifetime costs.

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The former health secretary warned the government must act, even as independent experts are ready to reject his bid for how many workers are needed – because it would be too costly.

Mr Hunt is amending the health and care bill on Tuesday afternoon to require ministers to publish assessments, but predicted it would not be accepted.


“For people working on the front lines in social care, the workforce crisis, the main funding received by local authorities, are really very pressing issues and we should be talking about them as well,” he said.

The amendment has the support of almost cross-party lawmakers, including Labor’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, and more than 60 organizations and charities,

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Experts will report whether too few people are being trained to deliver the services, but Mr. Hunt said of the government: “They are unlikely to accept this amendment today. They are concerned about the cost. “

They told bbc radio 4: “We are going to turn a little. There is a crisis in social care and it is not really about how we calculate eligibility for the cap – it is about the money local authorities get.”

Mr Hunt was speaking when Boris Johnson won a Commons vote on slashing care reforms – forcing less well-off pensioners to pay higher bills – but with his majority reduced from 77 to just 26.

The former health secretary predicted the defeat would not be reversed in the House of Lords, but warned of public anger, saying: “It makes the whole country a tough package to sell.”

Baroness Finlay, a crossbench peer and health expert, suggested that peers try to improve the support provided at lifetime costs, based on an impact assessment.

“Maybe we say to the Commons, ‘Can you think again?’ It could be that we came up with creative modifications to improve what’s on the table at the moment, because clearly, There is a lot of restlessness,” said the professor of palliative medicine.

And Mr Hunt said the government would have to accept the ground in the future, saying: “Over time, people will successfully prove the point that the way the cap is calculated to be more liberal.

But he downplayed the long-term impact of the prime minister’s embarrassing speech at the CBI conference, saying that David Cameron and Theresa May had faced even more criticism.

“It was not a great moment and it has not been a great month for the government,” Mr Hunt said. times radio,

But he added: “I was in cabinet for nine years from 2010 and, frankly, there was no time when there was no noise in Westminster, there were no backbench MPs with complaints about the way the government worked. . “


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