The Independent Care Group has added its voice to fears that the loss of a dedicated ministerial post could signal a downgrading of the Government’s attitude to looking after older and vulnerable adults.
The Group says it is dismayed that the social care brief now comes under a more junior, parliamentary under-secretary of state for community health and care. Previously it was a ministerial post, held by Alastair Burt.
The Group’s chair, Mike Padgham, said: “We had been optimistic that a new Government might at last begin to recognise the importance of social care and address the chronic under-funding which is threatening the care of many thousands of adults.
“The new Prime Minister has said she means to support the disadvantaged as she takes up the reins of Government, but the loss of a dedicated ministerial post for social care looks like a backward step.
“It very much appears that, after a generation of waiting, any hopes we had of new progress in social care have been swiftly dashed by this apparent downgrading of social care.
“Social care should have its own Secretary of State to give it the status it deserves and not be looked after by a more junior parliamentary under-secretary of state for community health and care, however able they might be, in a directorate that also includes digital, technology and local government. It needs a more senior level position to fight its corner.
“A lot of leading commentators agree that social care is going through a crisis due to chronic under-funding and the impact of the economic downturn. As it settles to the tasks ahead the Government needs to rethink this as social care needs to rise in priority, not fall.”