Winter warning still stands on need for investment

04 July 2017

 

The government has set out plans for councils and the NHS to reduce the number of people waiting unnecessarily in hospitals through closer partnership working between councils and local NHS organisations.

As part of these plans, the CQC will also drive improvement by performing targeted reviews of 12 local systems and examine how effectively health and care systems are working together.

The aim is to help ease pressure on busy hospitals ahead of winter and has the backing of funding for social care announced in the spring budget.

Responding to the government’s initiative to reduce social care-related delayed transfers of care (DTOCs), the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

“Our recent report, Winter Warning, showed the additional money announced in the budget for social care was not flowing to support the NHS as consistently as intended. It is therefore encouraging that senior ministers have focussed on this issue, which requires genuine local partnership and support to make the best use of the money. Both the recent ADASS budget survey and Winter Warning showed that only about one in three local authorities is currently planning to prioritise reducing social care related DTOCs.

We welcome the rapid CQC review of 12 areas to see how well they are working at the health and social care boundary. However we await detail of how – in detail – this will work.

“We are pleased there are now specific targets for each local authority, which will be closely monitored. And we welcome the rapid CQC review of 12 areas to see how well they are working at the health and social care boundary. However we await detail of how – in detail – this will work.

“And our warning still stands. Senior health service leaders have about a month in which to make a decision on whether there is sufficient capacity in the NHS to deal with next winter’s risks, and if not, to do something about it. We have called for a £350 million investment now to cope with pressures in the coming winter.”

 

In response to the possibility of an additional review of 2018-19 social care funding announced in parliament by the health secretary, the director of policy and strategy of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

“It is worrying that any review looking at how the social care funding set aside in the spring Budget has been allocated may penalise those areas that potentially need the greatest support.”

“We share the government’s desire to ensure that social care work effectively. However we would urge the government to consider first how we support local health and social care systems to invest collectively in ways which reduce the pressure on wider health services and deliver the best care possible for patients. Penalties should be a last resort.”

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