EXCLUSIVE: Care England slams government’s localist approach to integration

Care England CEO Martin Green has slammed the government’s failure to develop a national framework for the integration of health and social care.

In an exclusive interview with Care Home Professional, Martin said the government’s emphasis on localism was failing to address the national crisis afflicting health and social care.

Martin said: “All these local approaches are all well and good but if something is wonderful in Halifax it’s not good to me if I am living in Great Yarmouth. What we need is some clear lines which citizens should expect and it should be the responsibility of every area to deliver them.

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“Localism is far more about getting national politicians off the hook ever more than it is about delivering better services. There’s a whole load of rubbish about why politicians want to assure localism but the subtext is they want somebody to blame for their decisions.”

The Care England chief said the lack of process on developing a national strategy for health and social care integration was down to a lack of continuity and long-term planning in government.

“The integration agenda never succeeds because the same old people are still in charge,” Martin said.

“They tinker around the edges and don’t deliver a vision of what integrated services will look like. Nobody looks at this strategically they just think about what they’ve got and they reconfigure it.”

Martin said the NHS was “very difficult to engage with” because it tended to focus on its own agenda, adding it was not “an end in itself” but a “delivery mechanism for citizens”.

“All people want is a good service, they don’t care if it’s NHS or private,” Martin added.

“It’s the best person who can deliver the best services most efficiently that should be used. I want to see an open field where the best can rise to the top.”

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