National Voices responds to Jeremy Hunt’s social care speech

Tue, 20 March 2018

Jeremy Hunt has outlined seven principles for reforming social care. The Secretary of State also announced a consultation to extend rights to personal budgets for health and care, and a pilot to give users of adult social care a joint health and social care assessment and care plan.

Commenting, Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities, said:

The Secretary of State’s speech signals a welcome return to a national focus on integrating health and care services – a focus for change that united the care systems from 2013 to 2015 until impetus was lost.

The majority of health and care spend goes on the 10 million people in England who have two or more long term conditions, disabilities, or other complex needs [1]. Current models of care don't work well enough to support them to manage successfully. 

The answer doesn’t lie in joining up organisations, but in coordinating care around individuals to help them achieve what's most important to them. For that reason, the announced pilot that may lead to one person, one assessment, one care plan is a positive step forward.

In his speech, Jeremy Hunt announced a consultation to extend rights to personal budgets, which give people control over how money is spent to support their health and wellbeing needs. Commenting on the planned consultation, Don Redding said:

There is growing evidence that personal budgets can improve quality of life for people with long term conditions. They give people greater choice and control over their care and support, shaping it around their lives and goals. A 2017 survey of personal budget holders found that 72% rated the choice and control they had over their care and support as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. [2]

In 2013 the Department of Health and all other system leading bodies across health and care agreed a shared commitment to integration, at the centre of which was a single national definition of what good person centred and coordinated care looks like from the perspective of its users. That definition was produced by National Voices, working with service users, voluntary sector organisations, and system and professional leaders.

In 2015 National Voices, in partnership with other charities, published ‘Personal Budgets as an integral form of NHS care: A discussion paper’. Later this year National Voices will publish a learning report based on the experiences of voluntary sector organisations working with local commissioners to support people with personal budgets.


For further information, please contact National Voices’ Head of Communications, Andrew McCracken on 020 3176 0737 or


  1. Department of Health: Integrated Care: Our Shared Commitment:
  2. Lancaster University: Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) for adults in receipt of social care support - 2017 report