Trust leaders urge health secretary to offer more support to social care over winter

17 November 2021

Responding to the secretary of state for health and social care's speech at NHS Providers' annual conference today, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

"Sajid Javid was right to pay tribute to the fantastic work done by the NHS over the past 19 months as well as the challenges facing the health service in the months ahead.

"Pressure is being felt right across the NHS with demand for urgent and emergency care, mental health, community and ambulance services at extremely high levels as well as nearly six million people on NHS waiting surgery waiting lists. It was good to hear the secretary of state acknowledge how hard NHS frontline staff and leaders are working to meet those challenges.

"And as we have heard during our conference, there are some great examples of where they are innovating and adapting to make a real difference for their staff and for patients.

"It was also reassuring to hear the health secretary say today that he would do all he could to ensure that the NHS gets what it needs to navigate through these challenges.

"Most immediately, trust leaders are urging the government to provide emergency help to the social care sector. If we want to keep health and social care on an even keel over winter, we need to keep hold of the staff that we've got.

"A retention bonus of a minimum of £500 each for the 1.5 million social care staff in England, is a price worth paying if it helps keep social care functioning as we need it to through the winter. It's striking that there are already reports of at least one area where the NHS is helping fund those bonuses on a voluntary basis – we now need a co-ordinated and consistent response."

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