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Political candidates face eight tests for adult social care

Nuffield Trust has set out eight adult social care ‘tests’ for political candidates ahead of the next election.

What health and care need from the next government: #2 – Adult social care sets out the need for parity with the NHS as its first challenge to the next government.

It says that to transform the system, there needs to be a coherent plan that recognises the interconnectedness of different elements.

Other tests look at funding, access, workforce reform and innovation:

Test 2: Introduce a credible mechanism to fund adult social care sustainably. A national funding ‘pool’ would spread the risk of high costs across the whole population.  

Test 3: Introduce greater consistency in, and expand, access to publicly funded care via a clear eligibility process.

Test 4: Ensure that people who need social care have choice and control and can access personalised support through notional budgets to be used flexibly to suit an individual’s needs and preferences.

Test 5: Set out a clear long-term strategy for the social care workforce that ensures staff are valued and want to stay in social care

Test 6: Bring stability, growth and steady improvement to the organisations that deliver care through fair fees and clear rules of financial behaviour for providers

Test 7: Set out plans for supporting England’s unpaid carers 

Test 8: Ensure social care reform works alongside other services, in particular the NHS

The think-tank believes that adult social care has been left to languish for decades. It says: “Both government and opposition leaders recognise that reform of this ailing system is overdue, but fear that taking action will bring more blame than credit. This has been a terrible failing of British public policy, and public dissatisfaction has gradually continued to rise.”

Briefing #1 looked at NHS staffing

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