NHS Providers' response to the 'Adult social care winter plan' statement

03 November 2021

Responding to the Adult social care winter plan statement made by Gillian Keegan, minister for care and mental health, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said:

"It is good to see that the plan recognises the many challenges the social care sector has faced over the past 18 months and, crucially, the challenges to come in what we know will be a very difficult winter.

"While previously announced funding allocations, such as the Workforce recruitment and retention fund to help recruit staff and retain the existing workforce are welcome, we recognise that this funding will not address the long-term staffing issues facing the sector which requires sustainable support.

"We also remain deeply concerned that important funding to continue enhanced hospital discharge support seems unlikely to continue after March 2022. Without central funding, we risk reversing the many benefits of this discharge model for patients and the health and care system.

"And while a winter plan is welcome, the sector, and those needing its support, also deserve the certainty that comes with a long-term, sustainable plan for its future.

"NHS services and local government care are totally interdependent – they cannot succeed without each other.

"Trust leaders remain concerned about the fragility of the social care sector, and local government funding more generally. While the additional resources announced today and in last week's spending review are welcome, the lack of specific social care investment and, as yet, reform, means there is still a long way to go to create the sustainable social care system we all need."