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King’s Fund gives DHSC a “mixed” progress report on 2019 health and social care manifesto

The government’s progress on its 2019 manifesto commitments for health and social care has been mixed. Of the 14 commitments assessed, five have been met, six have not been met, and three have been partially met or the evidence is inconclusive, according to the King’s Fund.

In a long read, Progress On The Government’s 2019 Election Pledges On Health And Social Care the King’s Fund highlights progress on the following commitments:

2019 Pledge: £1 billion more funding every year for more social care staff and better infrastructure, technology and facilities 

Progress report: Partially. The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee’s evaluation concludes that the government’s pledge of £1 billion extra funding every year until 2024/25 has not delivered on parameters such as morestaff, and better infrastructure, technology and facilities. The conclusion is that the commitment is too vague on what it will deliver.

2019 Pledge: Urgently seek a cross-party consensus in order to legislate for long-term reform of social care

Progress report: No.  In November 2022, the Chancellor announced reforms would be delayed for two years to October 2025, with the funding instead allocated to deal with existing cost pressures and to ‘allow local authorities to provide more care packages’. The government has not announced any plans for implementing changes in October 2025.  

2019 Pledge: Make finding a cure for dementia a priority, doubling funding for research 

Progress report: No. In December 2023, Health and Social Care Minister Helen Whately said the government would double funding for dementia research to £160 million per year by 2024/25. In the 2024 spring Budget, the government committed to spending an additional £45 million to support research by voluntary and community sector organisations in the life sciences sector (including but not ringfenced for dementia), but it is not clear when this funding will be received by the relevant research projects and for which conditions.  

The King’ Fund notes pressures since the publication of the manifesto including the Covid-19 pandemic, cost-of-living crisis, surging energy prices and supply shortages.

For the 2024 general election, the King’s Fund identifies developing careers in health and social care as a priority.  

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