Government must end social care crisis - NHS Confederation response to Queen’s Speech

Niall Dickson

Responding to the Queen’s Speech, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system, said:

“If this Government is not to be defined by Brexit then it must develop a credible domestic agenda and finding a solution to the social care crisis should be right at the very top of this agenda.

“Thousands of vulnerable people are being left to fend for themselves every day without the care and support they need – this government must seize the opportunity and come forward with proposals that last a generation and more. We welcome the Government’s commitment to reform adult social care but we have been here before and need to see these welcome words put into firm action.”

Turning to Brexit and other plans outlined in the Queen’s Speech, Niall Dickson added:

“Extensive no-deal preparations have been made to secure the UK’s exit from the EU but the best way of guaranteeing that patients are protected must be through a negotiated deal. If this is not possible, then we need to find a way of agreeing a mini-deal for health care that protects patients and the public both here and in the rest of Europe. 

Legislative proposals

“This is very welcome. The NHS needs a full scale reorganisation like a hole in the head. But a limited and targeted set of legislative reforms will help to make it easier to create more effective and integrated services for the public. We therefore support the proposed changes and the idea of an NHS Bill to replace parts of the Health & Social Care Act which are no longer fit for purpose.”

Responding to the announcement of reform of the Mental Health Act in the Queen’s Speech, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:

“It has been clear for some time that the Mental Health Act desperately needs modernising. Today’s commitment by the government is significant and is set to make a big difference to ensuring that those who have reached the point of crisis receive the care they need.
“It is important that we increase choice and provide more alternatives to detention in the wake of years of rising detention rates, with service users given a greater opportunity to have a say in their care. We need to ensure that gaps in terms of inequalities in access and outcomes are eradicated."


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