The Government is behind even on its revised plans to overhaul adult social care, a National Audit Office (NAO) report has found.
Two years into its ten-year plan to reform the sector, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has not established a long-term funded plan or an overarching programme to coordinate reforms, making it difficult to know if it is on track to achieve its objectives, the NAO said.
The spending watchdog also revealed that only £729m of the previously committed £1.7bn may now be spent on the reforms between 2022 and 2025.
It said the DHSC was delivering on just two of its eight workforce projects: supporting international recruitment and adult social care volunteering.
'Significant work’ by both the DHSC and local authorities will be required to deliver the cap on people's lifetime care costs under plans that have already pushed back until October 2025, the NAO also found.
It stressed that the Government must ‘ensure it understands the impact of its ambitions on local authorities and other stakeholders’.
Simon Bottery, a senior fellow at health and care charity The King’s Fund, said the reforms represented ‘only a small sliver of what was promised by the Government in 2021’.
He added: ‘At a time when adult social care has never faced more profound problems, with record numbers of people requesting support, this is an utterly inadequate response.’
A DHSC spokesperson said: ‘We remain committed to reform and are investing up to £700m over this year and next to make major improvements to the adult social care system.
‘Additionally, we have made up to £8.1bn available to help local authorities tackle waiting lists, low fee rates, and workforce pressures, £570m of which will help local authorities improve adult social care provision, in particular by boosting the workforce.’