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Social Care

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:29 pm, 25th February 2020

The honest truth is that that decision was made in the 2015-17 Parliament, and it was a decision the Government made at the time. I think that we need to take action to solve this problem, and that is what we are planning to do. The third part of the plan—[Interruption.] Well, I am halfway through explaining the plan.

The third part of the plan is to seek a solution that brings dignity and security to all those who need social care, with a system in which nobody needing care is forced to sell their home to pay for it. Such a solution would go against one of the most basic human impulses, which is the drive to provide for one’s family. We want to encourage people to save and we want to reward them for the fruits of their endeavours. As we said in our manifesto, we want to guarantee that

“nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it.”

We are determined to tackle this challenge in this Parliament, and to bring forward these reforms.

Fixing the funding, as my hon. Friend Dr Poulter said, is only half of the equation, and the other half needs attention, too. We should be helping more people to live at home for longer; finding a cure for dementia, because we refuse to accept that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing; and harnessing technology to improve care. The stereotype of social care as a kind of digital backwater is increasingly out of date; there are many examples of brilliant social care organisations, public and private, using wearables and new technology to support the round-the-clock care that they give. We should also be breaking down the silos between health and social care. We will always support our carers, both paid and unpaid alike.