Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already promised an extra £1 billion for social care in England for the year beginning April 2020, but his recently launched election manifesto has extended this to every year until 2024/25.
Boris Johnson has promised to double research funding into dementia and speed up trials for new treatments. This will increase research funding by £83 million a year to over £160 million a year.
The Conservative manifesto pledges also include: £74 million over three years for extra capacity in community care settings for those with learning disabilities and autism to make it easier for them to be discharged from hospital; 6000 more GPs in England by 2024-25 and 50,000 more nurses with students receiving up to £8,000 annual maintenance grant every year during course to help fund cost of living; and keeping the "triple lock" on state pensions.
Alzheimer's Research UK Chief Executive Ian Wilson welcomed the pledge and said: “Dementia research must be a national priority, whoever forms our next government. We would want to see this investment come into action swiftly to enable further increases to reach the one per cent investment we need by 2025.”
Possibly avoiding his predecessor Theresa May's mistake of including social care proposals such as the unpopular "dementia tax" in the previous election's Conservative manifesto, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 64-page manifesto only states: "We will build a cross-party consensus to bring forward an answer that solves the problem, commands the widest possible support and stands the test of time. That consensus will consider a range of options but one condition we do make is that nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it."
In a statement The King’s Fund commented on the Conservatives' proposals: "Despite making a similar pledge to bring forward reform in 2017, social care funding has once again been put back in the too difficult box. Viewing the debate only in terms of older people not having to sell their homes is a disappointingly narrow framing of the problems in social care, and cross-party talks without a concrete proposal are unlikely to deliver meaningful reform."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised that the Conservatives will work with Labour and other parties to decide on social care reforms. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has not confirmed, though, whether he will work with the Conservatives to build a cross-party consensus on social care. His manifesto promises free personal care for over 65s with a £100,000 lifetime cap on care costs.
The Labour Party is planning a National Care Service for England and promises £10.8 billion for free personal care for over-65s, with the aim of extending this to all working-age adults later.
The Labour manifesto pledges include ensuring care provider contracts are not awarded to organisations "that do not pay their fair share of taxes and do not meet our high standards of quality care"; ending 15-minute care visits and giving care workers paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours; investing an extra £1.6 billion a year in mental health services; and doubling the number of people receiving publicly-funded care packages.
In addition, Labour is promising to freeze state pension age at 66, keep the triple-lock for existing pensioners, give all workers over the age of 16 £10 an hour within the next year with a Real Living Wage, and abolish prescription, basic dentistry and hospital car parking charges.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to introduce professional regulation of all care home managers; a cap on the costs of care; free end-of-life social care; a Health and Care tax; and a cross-party health and social care convention to agree long-term sustainable funding for social care.
The Party will set a target that 70% of care staff should have an NVQ level 2 or equivalent; currently levels are around 50%. The Liberal Democrats would also introduce a statutory independent budget monitoring body for health and care, to report every three years on how much money the system needs to deliver safe, sustainable care.
Last reviewed 26 November 2019