Learning disability charity Mencap has given a lukewarm reaction to the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, and questioned the Government’s commitment to addressing the funding crisis in adult social care.
The Queen’s Speech on May 9, which outlined the Government’s priorities for the next session of Parliament, confirmed that there will be a draft bill to modernise care and support in England. This draft bill will focus on ensuring local authorities fit their services around the needs, outcomes and experience of people; build on the personal budgets agenda; simplify the laws around social care; and improve the way people get information about what they're entitled to.
However, it did not mention the funding of the care system, something Mencap had been hoping for. “The commitment to a draft bill and pre-legislative scrutiny is at least a start, but we had hoped for much more – specifically a renewed commitment to address the funding crisis in adult social care,” said Dan Scorer, senior campaigns and policy manager at Mencap. “We now have serious concerns about the government’s desire to address the crisis in social care and move beyond the limited remit of the draft bill. People with a learning disability and their families are increasingly unable to live full and independent lives, and ministers need to tell us when and how they will address the funding issues that are only intensifying as each month passes without progress.”