Commenting on health secretary, Matt Hancock’s speech on his ambitions for health and social care, George McNamara, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:

“The Secretary of State is right to focus on prevention, workforce and technology. These are absolutely vital to ensure the sustainability of the NHS and address the crisis in social care. Timidity will do very little to address the major health and care challenges we face as a country. These priorities need to be matched with bold and radical action.

“Committed and dedicated frontline staff in the NHS and social care provide vital care and support every day. Not before time we need to value social care workforce alongside NHS workers. In doing so, this will enhance joined-up working and increase the quality of care and support that everyone wants to see.

“One of the first tests will be the forthcoming social care green paper and seeing an explicit focus on prevention matched by sufficient resources is the potential to enable older people to live in the own homes longer and reduce pressures on an already stretched NHS. Immediate action is also necessary to reduce the growing waiting times and increasing challenges older people face accessing the NHS.“

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