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Helen Whately

DHSC rejects notion of English national care service

DHSC has rejected the idea of a national care service for England.

In a speech to Directors of Adult Social Services, and referring to national care services in Scotland and Wales, health minister Helen Whately said “simplicity, ideology, and slogans grab headlines. A one-size-fits all approach is not the right answer. We need a vision for care which recognises this, even if it’s harder to spell out, and even if it’s more complicated to deliver.”

In the speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services spring seminar, she said that the DHSC supported neither a nationalised social care system nor added responsibilities for family carers.

Instead, she emphasised current work projects such as workforce reform, tech and innovation and CQC assurance and said the aim was to build a “care system rooted in local communities, and in which local government plays a vital and pivotal role, and funded in a way that recognises the value of care”.  

On pay, she reiterated that local authorities should pay a fair rate for care and commission in a way that supports providers to improve staff pay and terms of employment.

She finished, saying: “We don’t need another national religion. We need a modern care system, with the flexibility to respond to changing needs.”  

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