Alan Johnson fails to mention social care in conference speech

Health secretary Alan Johnson did not make a single mention of adult social care in his speech today to the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth.

Despite having equal responsibility for health and adult social care, the NHS dominated Johnson’s address, particularly the issues of hospital-acquired infections and health inequalities.

He made a passing reference to the government’s “new deal for carers” and the need for a “fresh approach to mental health” but none to adult social care.

This is despite ongoing concerns among councils, providers and users about current funding levels and the long-term challenges of increasing numbers of older and disabled people.

In his speech to the conference yesterday, prime minister Gordon Brown cited individual budgets in social care as part of the government’s agenda of personalising public services.

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