Health Secretary gives social services conference ‘his word’ that Government will deliver reforms

The Health Secretary has given social care providers his word that the Government will deliver reforms to put the sector on a “firm footing for the years to come”.

Reflecting on the past months, Matt Hancock told the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) Spring Conference that social care reforms are “more important than they’ve ever been”.

In a pre-recorded video message, he told attendees at the virtual event: “Caring for others, in my view, is one of the most noble vocations of all.

“During this pandemic, the work you’ve done has protected so many people who’ve been at greatest risk from this deadly disease.

“You have my word that we will back you throughout the rest of this pandemic, and we will make the reforms that are needed to put social care on a firm footing for the years to come.”

The Government has said it will set out its plans for long-term reform of the sector later this year.

Mr Hancock also praised the “incredible dedication” of care staff during the pandemic, and said he is grateful to Adass members “for your consistent advocacy of vaccinations and for encouraging colleagues to come forward – this is so important”.

Noting that there is more to do to drive vaccine uptake, “especially” among care home staff, he said: “We’ve just launched a consultation on whether we should require care home providers that care for older adults to deploy only workers who’ve received their Covid-19 vaccination, unless of course they have a medical exemption.

“This is an approach that’s taken in other areas where there is a duty of care; for instance, surgeons need to have the Hepatitis B vaccine.

“And I am pleased that Adass has welcomed the consultation. We’ve already had thousands of responses and I’m looking forward to hearing your views.”

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