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Hunt urged to plug £2.5bn social care funding gap

Hunt urged to plug £2.5bn social care funding gap”

A department spokeswoman said: "From today the department will be renamed Department of Health and Social Care, taking on responsibility for the forthcoming social care green paper which will set out the Government's proposals to improve care and support for older people and tackle the challenge of an ageing population".

Jeremy Hunt has retained his position as Health Secretary, now with the title enhanced to include social care, which he was previously responsible for in any event.

There are as yet no details on how funding arrangements will work between the DHSC and upper-tier local authorities, which deliver social care.

CCN spokesman Colin Noble said social care had been given the ministerial recognition it deserved, but warned that councils were facing the largest financial pressures within social care.

Hunt urged to plug £2.5bn social care funding gap

Meanwhile, Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said: "Social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3 billion by 2020".

The green paper is created to produce a long-term and sustainable solution for funding and providing social care to a fast-growing population of older people.

This needed to be linked in with broader pension policy and how people are encouraged to save for retirement, added Cameron, as for an increasing number of consumers part of retirement will now be spent in receipt of social care.

He added: "We hope the secretary of state will see social care as crucial in its own right, and not just viewed through the prism of what it can do for healthcare". "The government has been making noises about wanting more coherent and integrated health and social care systems and this is an important step towards the integration".

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Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of Global Positioning System, responded to the news by saying: "We support the bringing together of health and social care into the portfolio of one minister, as we recognise that what happens to patients in the NHS is profoundly impacted by the state of social care".

The change in Hunt and the department's titles is likely also to reflect a desire to raise social care's status within government, which has consistently been seen as low.

"To that extent this looks like a good move".

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