LGA responds to PAC report on social care during coronavirus

“Social care has been on the frontline throughout this crisis but this report’s conclusions show that those who use, work and volunteer in these vital services were not given as much priority as the NHS from the outset."


A woman in a face mask showing an elderly woman a video clip on a phone

Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report on readying the NHS and social care for the COVID-19 peak, which includes recommendations for government on preparing for a second peak of the virus, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Social care has been on the frontline throughout this crisis but this report’s conclusions show that those who use, work and volunteer in these vital services were not given as much priority as the NHS from the outset.

“Inadequate funding and delayed reforms, compounded by a lack of PPE, testing and changing guidance, all contributed towards a tragic loss of life in our care homes and other places where people receive care.

“We cannot and must not allow any of these mistakes to be repeated again, if the country is to experience a second wave of coronavirus. Social care deserves parity of esteem with the NHS.

“This needs to be backed up by a genuine, long-term and sustainable funding settlement for adult social care, which we have been calling for long before the current crisis.

“We urge the Government to act on the committee’s powerful recommendations as soon as possible, alongside the beginning of promised cross-party talks on the future of adult social care.”

Notes

  • It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and two thirds are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic.
  • LGA, together with 33 other organisations – including the Alzheimer’s Society, NHS Confederation and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services - have put forward a set of key principles, which must underpin reform of social care and support considering the many lessons learned from the pandemic.