Cross-party talks were “far, far short” of where they needed to be, even before the COVID-19 pandemic started, admits Helen Hayes MP and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Adult Social Care.
In an exlusive interview with Care Home Management magazine (click audio interview above) Hayes tells editor Ailsa Colquhoun about the progress to date.
She says it has been too slow.
The Secretary of State has written to MPs asking for ideas but she says more must be done to establish a proper process and framework within which cross-party talks can take place and out of which solutions can emerge.
As for the cross-party talks, she says: “There was already a great deal of frustration even before the pandemic that the Government had not made good on that commitment at all.”
Even so, she thinks that in some ways, the need for cross-party work has been overplayed.
“There has been an enormous amount of cross-party work already over the past 10 years; the menu of options for social care are known.
Really, what the Govt needs to be doing now is to put out options for consultations and engagement to take a decision very soon.”
In our exclusive interview Hayes also discusses MPs’ reactions to the lack of funding pledges for social care in the recent Budget, prospects for the forthcoming Spending review and how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing perceptions of social care.
- The APPG has also written to Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health, to call for support and resources to enable social care to play its role in the COVID-19 effort, in particular, personal protective equipment and health support via remote technology. Read the letter.