Queen’s Speech misses out social care reform measures

Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace by car to deliver the Queen's Speech during the State Op

Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace by car to deliver the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster - Credit: PA

Long-promised proposals to reform social care will be set out later this year to ensure that every person “receives the dignity and security they deserve”, Boris Johnson has said.

Measures to address the long-standing issue of social care funding and reform were not included in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday.

The Queen confirmed proposals will be brought forward as she set out the government’s legislative agenda.

Introducing the speech, Boris Johnson said: “Later in the year we will bring forward proposals to reform adult social care so that every person receives the dignity and security they deserve.”

No further detail on the content of these reforms was given.

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Care groups, charities and politicians have been long calling for a plan to “fix” the sector, which the prime minister promised in his first speech after being elected in July 2019.

Last month, 26 signatories wrote to Johnson urging him to set out his commitment to reform in the Queen’s Speech.

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They called for the sector to have its “its 1948 moment” – referring to the founding of the NHS – which would establish its “long-term and sustainable future”.

MORE: No guarantee from Boris Johnson that social care reform will be in Queen’s Speech

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said earlier on Tuesday that he hoped a cap to avoid catastrophic care costs would be announced in the Queen’s Speech, calling this “an incredible worry for people”.

A briefing note from Number 10, accompanying the speech, said the adult social care sector has never been under so much pressure and there is “more work to do” to ensure everyone receives high-quality, joined-up care.

The official document said the government will engage with staff about how best to support the 1.5 million-strong workforce and ensure that reform is “informed by diverse perspectives”.

Demand for social care is “rapidly growing”, with an ageing population and increased care needs in working age adults, it said.

It notes: “Care costs are unpredictable and can be very high, which can make it difficult for people to prepare.

“There is normally no way to predict a person’s future care costs and not all the risk is shared across society.”

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