During his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid announced that health and social care must begin at home. Promising that 2022 will be a year of renewal and reform, he went on to add that Britons should take personal responsibility for their health and families should be relied upon first, rather than the State.
Speaking during his keynote address, Sajid Javid said:
“The State was needed in this pandemic more than any time in peacetime. But Government shouldn’t own all risks and responsibilities in life. We as citizens have to take some responsibility for our health too. We shouldn’t always go first to the State. What kind of society would that be? Health—and social care—begins at home. Family first, then community, then the State.”
Sajid Javid went on to say:
“If you do need support, we live in a compassionate, developed country that can afford to help with that. The public rightly and proudly expect a service that is free at the point of use. But they also expect that service to deliver for them, wherever they live in the country. They expect to be able to see their GP, in the way that they choose. And to have a relationship with their service that goes beyond picking up the pieces when things go wrong. In the past, some governments chose cash, others chose reform. That’s a false choice. You can’t have one without the other.”
NHS backlog and social care reforms
This follows the UK Government’s tax increase announcement last month surrounding the social care crisis. National Insurance contributions will rise by 1.25 per cent to fund elderly care, the NHS backlog and social care reforms.
However, extra funds will not be available until 2023, which provoked a warning from the Local Government Association (LGA) that council tax may have to rise by a quarter to meet care costs and financial pressures. Vital services such as care for the vulnerable and elderly, child protection and homelessness among others, will continue to face an uncertain future.