In light of the Queen’s Speech, where the Government set out the legislation it will prioritise for the year ahead, our CEO, Irene Sobowale shared her disappointment over the continued lack of clear plans for social care reform.

“I am sure that none of my colleagues in the health and care sector were expecting a ‘big bang’ of an announcement detailing plans for social care reform in today’s Queen’s speech, however the continuation of vague promises of reform and change have once again left me frustrated. We have lost count of the number of government pledges, white papers and articles we have seen over recent years heralding that now is the time for change; once again we are left continuing to shuffle the deckchairs without detailed proposals we can help shape and deliver. However, if the pandemic has taught us anything it is surely the incredible importance of our health and social care sector and our willingness as a society to look after each other when we are most in need.

Today’s speech did highlight the Government’s white paper on Health and Care which solidifies and codifies much of what has been happening in health policy around integration over the past five years, as reflected in the NHS Long-term Plan and the Five Year Forward View. As I shared in my post at the time, integrated services are key to transforming outcomes and ultimately creating positive experiences for all of us accessing our health and care system. We are excited and ready for the cultural change that will be required across the system to ensure real collaboration across organisational and professional boundaries. If successful, Integrated Care systems will operate seamlessly across health and care without being split into artificial silos that too often keep them apart, negatively impacting on the outcomes of individuals.

I continue to be amazed by the commitment of the staff in our services across the Trust, and across the health and care sector, who continuously display heart, courage, agility and resourcefulness in abundance. They do this in the face of squeezed budgets and workforce shortage, always going that extra step to ensure the people in our services lived as fulfilled lives as possible. I urge this government to be the one who make good on their promise of a bold vision for care reform, which recognises the heroic efforts of our staff and urgent need for investment. Let’s make sure that today marks the last of these vague promises and warm words.”