• The care sector suffers as a result of fragmentation, both in terms of the variety of providers and the varying contractual demands of local authorities. Providers are seeking a more formal relationship with NHS and social care under the Integrated Care System (ICS) umbrella.
  • The need for reform is now more pressing than ever. Whatever shape that reform takes will require increased funding and increased confidence in the sector.
  • Social care funding could come from a hypothecated tax, taxing over-40s, increased National Insurance contributions, reducing government personal pension contributions or an insurance scheme paying up to a cap.
  • Establishing a new National Care Service (NCS), a politically accountable central body, that determines who gets care, what the general public has to pay and whether top up payments need to come from central government would be one way to channel the reform that is needed.
  • The role and remit of CQC should be considered as part of any ongoing reform measures to ensure its regulatory focus is correct. The current joint inspection and enforcement scope of CQC is a challenge and there remain parts of the sector which may be under scrutinised, whilst others feel very heavily monitored..
  • A government and industry-led national campaign is required to establish a more positive ‘brand’ for the social care sector, building on examples of great care and what has been valued during the pandemic. Schools, college pupils and the public need to be aware that care is a genuine and rewarding career.
  • New opportunities are available in the UK housing-with-care market which is already growing in Australasia and North America. This is proving attractive to major insurance and pension funds in the UK, and may offer a viable, flexible approach to providing long term social care to older people..

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