Boris Johnson has outlined his priorities for health and social care, which include a pledge to fix the social care crisis ‘once and for all’, in his first speech as Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson said yesterday that he will also work to ensure people ‘don’t have to wait three weeks to see their GP’.
Mr Johnson said: ‘My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care and so I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.’
He added that work will commence this week to upgrade 20 hospitals, ‘ensuring that money for the NHS really does get to the frontline’.
However, the new Prime Minister – who promised Brexit by 31 October ‘no ifs or buts’ – failed to mention in his speech whether the NHS will receive the £350m a week promised by Brexit campaigners during the EU referendum, while giving no preview of how he intends to solve the social care crisis.
The British Geriatric Society and the Local Government Association welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to social care, eagerly waiting for further developments to deliver ‘the desperately-needed action the sector deserves’.
We welcome @BorisJohnson commitment to 'fixing the social care crisis once and for all', one of BGS's key priorities for the incoming PM. We look forward to seeing how the new government addresses this vital issue #BorisJohnsonPM #Healthforcare https://t.co/AyU1KsKekz pic.twitter.com/kMQfaPMCnC
— BritishGeriatricsSoc (@GeriSoc) July 24, 2019
We welcome @BorisJohnson's promise to hold cross-party talks on the #socialcare funding crisis.
We stand ready to host any national level talks to help deliver the desperately-needed action the sector deserves.#FutureofASC #CouncilsCan @LGAWellbeing
— Local Government Association (@LGAcomms) July 24, 2019
British charity Age UK also welcomed Mr Johnson’s statement, insisting that urgent action needs to follow his words.
It's a start and it's good to see #SocialCare on the agenda.
But these words need to be followed with action and things have to start changing. https://t.co/jB1DkP3OBb
— Age UK (@age_uk) July 24, 2019
The new Prime Minister is @BorisJohnson – The @ASCAPPG looks forward to working with him, his team, the @Conservatives MPs & MPs & Peers from all parties in @UKParliament to improve our #AdultSocialCare system #conservativeleadership #SocialCare
— All-Party Parliamentary Group on Adult Social Care (@ASCAPPG) July 23, 2019
More detail needed
The NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson said that more detail is needed on how Mr Johnson intends to reverse the social care crisis, ‘alongside other welcome pledges to upgrade hospitals and to speed up waiting times to see GPs’.
He added: ‘The NHS urgently needs extra capital investment to improve the quality of our buildings, infrastructure and electronic patient records so it is encouraging to hear that this is high up his list of priorities. We will be writing to the new PM about this in the coming weeks.’
New PM promise to fix social care and upgrade hospitals welcomed by NHS Confederation: https://t.co/PjtcZuFYCV #HealthforCare
— NHS Confederation (@nhsconfed) July 24, 2019
Image credit: Ben Shread © MoD/Crown Copyright
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