Conservatives back Wanless over adult social care

The shadow health minister has spoken out in support of the Wanless review of adult social care funding.
Andrew Lansley told social services directors today he backed the partnership model proposed in the review where the state would provide a minimum level of care funding.
He said the government needed to look at the “critical issues” of establishing what kind of benchmark level of care they would be aiming for and what it would be willing to support to take the proposal forward.
Lansley also pledged the Conservatives would “match” the government’s social care settlement and suggested it could “go beyond it by thinking creatively.”
He criticised the government’s “slow progress” over the Wanless review and said the forthcoming adult social care green paper needed to “make progress beyond 2011 [the end of the next comprehensive spending review period.]”
Lansley also hit out at the “inadequate” level of consultation between primary care trusts and local authorities when it came to service planning.
“We don’t want post-hoc decision-making where scrutiny cries foul. Local authorities and PCTs must be involved in the process from the start,” he told directors.
Lansley said there would “always” be means-tested funding for social care and free healthcare but reiterated the Tories’ backing of extending individual budgets and direct payments to healthcare.
He also called on the NHS to attach greater priority to dementia, arguing that the current number of 560,000 people with the condition would rise to a million over the next three decades.

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