• Jeremy Hunt said more resource will need to go into health and care
  • Reaffirms plan to “fully” integrate health and social care
  • Says people need to start saving for social care like pensions

Jeremy Hunt has said a “greater share of our national resources” will need to be spent on health and social care, and defended the country’s “tax payer funded” health system.

Speaking today at a Lords committee on NHS sustainability Mr Hunt, speaking about long-term funding, said: “We are going to have to find a way of devoting a greater share of our national resources in to health and social care. Without a doubt.”

He defended the continuation of a ”tax payer funded” health system, stating that insurance-based models had flaws. But, in relation to funding for long-term care needs, he indicated he favoured models to encourage individual saving and insurance.

“I think as a country in a nut shell we need to start saving for social care costs as we do for our pension, it needs to be a normal thing to do and we need to make sure there is a proper safety net there for people who haven’t been able to do that,” he said.

“We need to need to get in to the habit of saving more for social care when we’re younger in the way we do for pensions… The name of the game is to find a way of getting people in their 20s and 30s to think about what is going to happen when you are older…

“There is a Russian roulette of who actually needs to pay social care costs… in that context it is hard to persuade people that they need to put away money when you’re much older in a more realistic way than what is happening.”

Mr Hunt also reaffirmed a commitment made by the government in recent years to “fully” integrate health and social care by 2020. “I think we do have a long term plan for public health and social care. The long term plan for social care is complete integration with the NHS.”

He said: “Frankly it is crazy to make to have to people navigate the complexity of two different systems - it’s not fair and it is expensive and we need to bring those two systems together.

“I have always seen my job as being as responsible for the social care system although it sits under local government.”