07 DEC 2017

Social Care

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons)

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS rapidly concluded that it would be impossible to carry out its task without investigating the interrelated nature of social care, and it changed its remit accordingly. The Committee changed the scope of its inquiry because it recognised that we will not see a long-term, sustainable solution unless we address both. I am afraid that a Green Paper that focuses entirely on social care will fail to rise to the challenge. Has the Minister read the Committee's findings, and as she listens to those she consults at an early stage, will she be prepared if the advice from them is to consider health and social care together—that has been the advice of all the commissions that have looked at this—to go back to the drawing board and start again by looking at both health and social care?

Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

To reassure my hon. Friend on the terms of reference for the Green Paper, let me say that part and parcel of getting a long-term, sustainable solution very much involves looking at care, and I pointed out in the statement that we need to look at holistic areas of policy to deliver it. Housing is one area, because if we get housing conditions right, we can obviously enable people to live for longer. The whole purpose of having a Green Paper and a debate is to make sure that we consider this issue not in a silo, but holistically, with a person-centred approach.

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