NHS Providers joins ‘Health for Care’ coalition for a sustainable social care system
04 March 2019
NHS Providers is one of 15 health organisations that have come together to call on the government to create a sustainable social care system.
The coalition, led by the NHS Confederation, warns that millions of vulnerable people are being deprived of the care and support they need because of the government’s failure to grasp the crisis in social care, with services in parts of the country near collapse.
In a letter to the prime minister they point out that at least 1.4 million older people in England in need now receive no help because the social care system is failing. The letter comes weeks ahead of the expected publications of the government’s social care green paper. It also sets out a series of principles for a future social care system.
To address the crisis in social care, the Health for Care coalition is calling for a funding settlement, which puts social care on to a sustainable path for the longer term, as well as addressing immediate needs from April 2020.
According to the coalition, that will require secure funding commitments, a workforce strategy and a diverse and stable market of providers.
It is the first time that a coalition of health organisations has formally come together to act on social care.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which leads the Health for Care coalition, said:
“Everyone’s mind is elsewhere just now, but this is a national scandal and a national disgrace. Record numbers of older people are being left to struggle each day without the care and support they need. It leads to a grossly inefficient system - the cost of doing nothing is great and the personal impact on individuals and their families can be devastating.
The cost of doing nothing is great and the personal impact on individuals and their families can be devastating.NHS Confederation
“Finding a sustainable solution is among the greatest challenges we face. Successive governments have failed to deal with this, but we have reached a point where we cannot go like this - time is running out.
“Our goal should be to deliver a settlement for social care in England that will last for generations. The promised Green Paper and autumn spending review present an essential opportunity to invest in social care over the longer term, as the Government is now investing in the NHS. Whatever proposals are included in the green paper, they must address the central issue of widening eligibility.”
Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said:
“Securing a sustainable social care system for the future is not only important for health and care organisations. It is also the right thing to do for millions of older people and their families struggling to access the help they need and for the millions more of us who will require support in the future.
Without addressing the social care challenge, we risk devaluing every pound of the recent funding settlement for the NHS.NHS Providers
“The need for action is more pressing than ever. The NHS and social care are two sides of the same coin. Without addressing the social care challenge, we risk devaluing every pound of the recent funding settlement for the NHS.
“We are pleased to add the voice of NHS trusts alongside our colleagues in healthcare organisations to call for urgent action and a long term sustainable solution for social care. If we miss this chance for action, we risk storing up further problems for both health and care services in the future.”
Read our letter to the prime minister on behalf of the Heath for Care coalition, co-signed by NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson.
Read more about the Health for Care coalition, its members and the principles for a future social care system.