Social care – Government action
UK Government actions
- In September 2021, the UK Government announced new funding arrangements for health and social care, including:
- a UK-wide 1.25% health and social care levy for employees, self-employed people and employers, based on National Insurance contributions
- £5.4 billion investment in adult social care in England over the next three years
- a recommitment to introduce a white paper on social care reform before the end of 2021
- the introduction in England from October 2023 of an £86,000 cap on lifetime personal care costs, and increased eligibility for means-tested financial support for people with assets up to £100,000. Care users with assets of £20,000 or less will pay what they can afford from their income only.
- In July 2021, the UK Government introduced the Health and Care Bill, which includes provisions to better integrate health and social care in England, and improve oversight for social care. It builds on a health and social care white paper published in February 2021.
- In June 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care published guidance on new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) to authorise deprivations of liberty in England and Wales for people who lack capacity, and committed to a public consultation. The LPS will come into effect in April 2022.
- In January 2021, the UK Government announced an independent review of the children’s social care system in England to improve outcomes for children in care.
- From March 2020, the UK Government has introduced a number of funding and policy measures to support the social care sector in responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- In March 2020, the UK Parliament passed the Coronavirus Act 2020, temporarily relaxing legal duties around adult social care in England and Wales, and children’s care in England. Modifications to children’s care delivery expired in September 2020 and the Care Act easements expired in July 2021.
- In April 2017, the Children and Social Work Act 2017 introduced changes to local authority duties on ‘looked after’ children, local safeguarding arrangements, and the regulation of children’s social workers.
Welsh Government actions
Social care is devolved to the Welsh Government.
- In September 2021, the Welsh Government announced an additional £48 million COVID-19 recovery fund for social care.
- In July 2021, provisions under the Coronavirus Act allowing time-limited modifications to adult social care duties in Wales expired.
- In June 2021, the Welsh Government’s ‘Programme for government 2021 to 2026’ included commitments to legislate to better integrate care and health.
- In March 2021, the Welsh Government launched a strategy to improve the recognition of, and support for, unpaid carers and announced £3 million funding to support emergency respite for unpaid carers.
- Between January and April 2021, the Welsh Government held a consultation on its white paper on rebalancing care and support, which included proposals to develop a national framework for commissioning social care and to enhance the role of regional partnership boards.
- In June 2020, the Welsh Government legislated to create the Citizen Voice Body for Health and Social Care to represent the public’s views. This is now expected to come into effect in April 2023.
- In April 2020, the Welsh Government announced £40 million funding to support the adult social care sector to meet the additional costs of the pandemic.
- In February 2018, the ‘Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018–2022’ was published.
This list is a summary of key actions and is not intended to be exhaustive.
The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 30/09/2021