New Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock makes first major speech

He revealed his three early priorities for the NHS, which are technology, health and care workforce and prevention, to support the Long Term Plan for the NHS and transform health and social care.

Sally Copley, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Society, said: 

While it is heartening to see the new Secretary of State’s focus on championing health and care staff, the upcoming Green Paper and social care reform is mentioned as a mere aside. This omission from his priority list is of deep concern.

The social care system is on its knees and people with dementia are the principal victims – hundreds of thousands of them rely on social care every day.

'Investing in the NHS while ignoring social care is akin to pouring water into a leaky bucket. Our helpline is inundated with calls about people with dementia rushed to A&E and stuck in hospital due to lack of proper community support and we know avoidable admissions costed the NHS up to £400m last year. It’s now over a year since the public outcry over the dementia tax and the promise from this government to urgently address the failing system. We can only hope that this speech isn’t indicative of the government downgrading the urgent need for social care reform.'