Responding to the Labour Party's expected announcement later today that they would, if elected, introduce free personal care for older people, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The thousands of vulnerable older people who are left to fend for themselves every day without the care and support they need will welcome these proposals. Free personal care will help a lot more people with their day-to-day needs – this is the right and fair thing to do.
“This is a welcome commitment from the Labour Party but we need to see further details of how this would be delivered and how it would be paid for. It is the first step along the path to delivering the long-term reforms and funding required to abate the social care crisis, but this is an issue that has vexed successive governments and the detail here will be critical.
“It is also good to see Labour’s commitment to supporting our underpaid and overstretched social care workforce. Paying a living wage, offering training and improving working conditions will help attract, retain and look after those who care for the most vulnerable people in our society.
“However, whatever solutions are put forward by individual political parties will likely founder without cross-party input and support. This is one of the defining issues of our time and we need politicians from across the main parties to work together in the best interests of vulnerable older people, disabled working age adults and their carers.”