BREAKING NEWS: Liz Truss elected as new PM

Liz Truss

Liz Truss has been elected as the UK’s new prime minister following the Tory leadership election.

Truss won 57.4% of the vote with Rishi Sunak taking a 42.6% share of the ballot.

In her acceptance speech, Truss promised to “deliver” on the NHS and energy crisis, although there was no mention of social care.

She promised to govern as a conservative with a focus on low taxation.

During the campaign, Truss pledged to scrap the national insurance hike that funds the health and social care levy.

She has also vowed to shift £13bn a year from the NHS to social care to help free up hospital beds.

Attention will now shift to the key appointments in the prime minister’s new cabinet.

Political ally Therese Coffey has been tipped to be the new health & social care secretary with incumbent Steve Barclay expected to pay the price the price for failing to support Truss.

The issue of social care funding will be high on the agenda of the new prime minister and health & social care secretary.

With the impact of soaring energy bills on care homes as well as a staffing crisis also requiring urgent action.


Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, told Caring Times:
“I hope that Liz Truss will make good on her commitment to investing more money in social care. In her acceptance speech, Ms Truss talked  about the importance of the NHS and she needs to understand that the NHS and social care are interdependent systems and you cannot support one without the other.”

Nadra Ahmed, executive chairman of the National Care Association, said the prime minister’s appointment came at a “critical time for the nation as whole but for social care services in particular”.

She said the PM “must fully appreciate the consequences of what we face and the impact of the crippling energy cost providers face in addition to the staffing shortages, inadequate fee levels, cost of increase rises and inflation levels, just to name a few”.

Nadra added: “It is time to take stock and invest in social care short, medium and long term so we can not only support those who need us built build an infrastructure which will keep the NHS safe.

“National Care Association will be delighted to support her thinking and inspire her to create a social care sector which is fit for the future.”

Kari Gerstheimer, chief executive and founder of Access Social Care, said: “As many expected, Liz Truss is to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and henceforth our new Prime Minister. Across all sectors of society people will now wonder what it is she can achieve in the face of the cost-of-living crisis – this very much includes those of us working in or reliant on the adult social care system.

“Our new Prime Minister announced plans to divert billions of pounds from the NHS to fund social care, but the sector continues to make calls for sustained long-term funding without financially wounding a health service facing similarly dire prospects.

“We are fast approaching what will be a hugely difficult winter, Truss must act fast in order to protect the wellbeing of those with care needs, the care workforce, and the NHS.”

Professor Vic Rayner OBE, chief executive of the National Care Forum (NCF) said that the announcement comes at a time when multiple crises are facing the country due to the cost of living crisis amongst a myriad of other challenges: “Her resounding assertion to be the leader that delivers will be immediately put to the test as it is vitally important for the most vulnerable people in our society who find themselves facing a catastrophe if action is not taken urgently.

“We need her government to deliver an immediate solution to the energy crisis which encompasses the impact on the many adult social care and support providers who are facing eye-watering increases in costs in excess of 400%, with many services right now considering their sustainability.

“We need her government to deliver on the care workforce and for an immediate need to increase the funding to adult social care to make sure it can offer staff the terms and conditions that recognise the vital, life changing work they do. We cannot run the risk that they cannot afford to work in care. Care is the backbone of communities up and down the country and they are the lifeblood of its delivery.

“We need her government to deliver on reform and drive forward the necessary reform plans at pace. We know that the current £5.4bn earmarked is simply not enough to address the challenges facing the sector.

“Never mind the next 100 days, the next 10 days will be pivotal, not only in her premiership but also for the many millions of people who work, use and operate adult social care across this country.”

Homecare Association chief executive Dr Jane Townson, said: “Home-based support and care play a vital role in enabling us all to live well at home and flourish in our communities.

It makes little sense to neglect people in the community, wait for a crisis, then rely on expensive and limited critical care services. Regrettably, though, this is the UK’s current health and care strategy, and evidence suggests that it is failing.

We need to shift the dial on demand and invest more in homecare and other community support to help prevent admission to more expensive settings of care, such as care homes and hospitals. Available homecare also enables people to return home from hospital safely when ready. This is better for individuals and less costly for integrated care systems.

We are concerned about the proposed removal of the National Insurance increase, as the Health and Social Care Levy was allocated to support the NHS and social care reform. The money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a complete meltdown in services, which are already in a parlous state.

We call on the Prime Minister to prioritise additional funding for homecare to help build vital capacity for this winter and beyond.”

Amanda Bunce, chairman of trustees at national learning disability charity Hft said: “Liz Truss, the new leader of the Conservative Party, begins her role as Prime Minister tomorrow, and with it, takes on the responsibility of tackling a serious cost-of-living crisis that will particularly impact people with a learning disability, as well as social care providers and staff. We urge her to acknowledge the reality faced by many people with a learning disability.”

“Everyone is feeling the strain at present but, combined with the rising cost of food and fuel, people with a learning disability face additional costs of around £538 per month to pay for essentials such as charging electric wheelchairs or communication devices, or to keep the house warm to stay healthy,” said Bunce.

Providers of support for people with a learning disability, like Hft, are also anticipating eye-watering cost increases, particularly to fuel bills.

“We estimate that our own energy bill will increase by more than 50%. Hft’s 2021 Sector Pulse Check research revealed that financial pressures, including the increasing cost of fuel, had forced over two fifths of providers to close down some parts of their organisation or hand back contracts. It is therefore vital that Liz Truss puts in place ring-fenced support to help providers weather this crisis at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure this trend does not continue.

“We know that our crucial and hard-working staff are also being hit by the cost-of-living crisis. Rather than scrap the Health and Social Care Levy, the new Prime Minister must recognise the vital contribution made by the social care workforce and redirect additional funds to increase wages.

“Local authorities need to be able to commission providers at a rate which will cover wages reflecting the real-term cost of living and attract more individuals to work in the sector. The Sector Pulse Check research also found that 71% of learning disability care providers were either in deficit or their surplus had decreased. Inflation, rising energy bills and the general cost of living will only serve to exacerbate this.

“It is essential that Liz Truss takes immediate action to meet the myriad recommendations made by the sector in recent weeks so the adult social care sector is able to weather the storm of the coming winter, and continue to provide support in the years ahead to everyone who needs it,” she concluded.

Deborah Auty, head of communications at Revitalise, said: “After a summer in which the country has been left without strong leadership, it is vital that Liz Truss acts without delay to tackle the crisis in social care. There is no time to waste. The cost-of-living crisis, rising inflation and soaring energy bills are all putting a huge strain on already stretched healthcare budgets, taking them to breaking point.  

“Boris Johnson promised to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ without properly budgeting for how this was going to happen. In her election campaign, Liz Truss pledged to divert £13 billion of NHS funding into social care, without revealing what impact these cuts will have on the NHS itself. We all know that we cannot fix the problems in the NHS without tackling the crisis in social care, but we cannot simply move precious funds around without consequence.  

“The Covid-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on disabled people and their carers. Carers are already reporting exceptionally high levels of fatigue and stress, while disabled people and those who care for them are finding it even harder to access respite breaks or other essential support. 

“As we approach what will be an exceptionally tough winter for everyone, Liz Truss cannot lose any more time in addressing this vital issue. She must commit to act on the Government’s promise to fix social care and provide a fully-funded, long-term plan to carry it out.  

“This Government has shown it can find the money to tackle issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic when it needs to. Social care needs to be properly funded so everyone who needs to can access vital social care services, and local authorities must have the funding to cope with soaring demand.  

“Now is the time for tough, decisive action. We hope that Liz Truss is the person who can deliver it, otherwise the consequences for so many could be devastating.”

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