MPs have warned they will be “extremely disappointed” if Boris Johnson fails to deliver on his promise to produce a long-term plan for social care in England by the end of the year.
The cross-party Commons Health and Social Care Committee said the absence of a fully-funded reform plan could undermine Government proposals to integrate health and care services.
It said the forthcoming Health and Care Bill should include a statutory requirement for the Health Secretary to publish a detailed 10-year plan within six months of the legislation receiving royal assent.
The warning comes amid widespread disappointment that the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday did not include detailed proposals for reform.
Mr Johnson, who originally promised to “fix” the system when he entered No 10 in July 2019, simply said he would bring forward proposals “later in the year”.
In its report, the committee said: “The absence of a fully funded plan for social care has the potential to destabilise integrated care systems and undermine their success.
“However, we note that the Prime Minister has committed the Government to producing a 10-year plan later this year; and we would be extremely disappointed if detailed plans for this were not published before the end of the calendar year.
“Without secure, long-term funding, the problems that have bedevilled the care sector over the last two decades will not be solved.”
The committee chairman, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, said: “If such issues are addressed, the Government has an opportunity to deliver a post-pandemic watershed 1948 moment for the health and care system, matching the significance of the year the NHS was founded.
“But if they are not, it will be a wasted opportunity to deliver the truly integrated care required by an aging population.”