Leaders call for Government action on health and social care

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A letter to the Chancellor ahead of this month’s Autumn Budget has called on the Government to revisit spending plans for the NHS and social care.

Signatories of the letter, including ADASS President Margaret Wilcox and NHS Confederation CEO Niall Dickson, highlight the “fragile” care market with most councils reporting care providers ceasing trading or handing back contracts.

The letter states: “These services are already unable to keep up with demand and to meet the standards set out in the NHS Constitution and the requirements under the Care Act.  As a result, the government is already failing to meet its statutory obligations and millions now face unacceptable delays and difficulties in accessing treatments, care, information and support.”

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The signatories call on the Government to revisit NHS spending plans and provide a long-term funding solution for social care, arguing “health and social care should be treated as two parts of the same system”.

“A more favourable settlement for one part, without a plan for the other, risks exacerbating existing pressure, tensions and imbalances,” the letter states.

The coalition of health and social care leaders calls on the Chancellor to:

Revisit the spending plans for both the NHS and social care for 2018-19 and 2019-20;

Provide a long-term sustainable funding solution for adult social care up to, and beyond, 2020;

Provide ring-fenced transformation funding to enable new models of care to be developed;

Relax pay restraint with the Government fully funding any additional costs; and

Deliver the Conservative manifesto commitment on capital investment.

Tory grandee Sir Oliver Letwin, meanwhile, called for a ring-fenced tax rise to pay for health and social care.

Sir Oliver told BBC Radio 4: “It seems to me that the public and Parliament might be willing to accept a tax which is used specifically to increase the social care and health service, in just the way a local authority precept is.”

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