Social care reform plan won’t to be published this year and likely to take longer, peers told

The Government’s long-awaited social care plan looks set to be delayed until next year, peers have been told.

Health and social care minister Lord Bethell said he could not commit to a plan before the end of 2020.

At question time in the Lords, he said it would require a “huge amount of political collaboration” and was likely to take longer.

The minister was replying to Labour’s Baroness Thornton who asked him to commit to publishing a plan for the future funding and provision of social care by the end of this year “as the Prime Minister promised in January”.

She also called for a clear social care winter plan to ensure no one with Covid-19 was discharged from a hospital into a care home “to prevent a repeat of the terrible impact this had in the first months of this crisis”.

Lord Bethell (pictured) said: “I cannot commit to a social care plan before the end of the year.

“This is something that will require a huge amount of political collaboration and I suspect it will take longer than the next few months.”

He said there was a £600 million infection control fund to help social care through the winter and tackle the spread of coronavirus in care homes.

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