Lords blast ‘short-termist’ care culture

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A House of Lords Committee report has condemned the ‘short-termist’ culture in the NHS and adult social care.

The Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care report calls for the integration of health and social care.

Recommendations by the Lords include the establishment of an Office for Health and Care Sustainability by the end of the current Parliament designed to take a 15-20 year view of the services.

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The Lords argue the body should focus on changes in demographic trends, disease profiles and expected changes in service demand, their impact on workforce skills, and the stability of health and social care funding.

The Committee argues that social care funding increases beyond 2020 should match NHS rate increases as a minimum.

It recommends renaming the Department of Health as the Department of Health and Care with the body taking budgetary control of adult social care at a national level.

The report backs a funding system that allows people who can afford it to pay for the care they need with contributions being capped along the lines of the Dilnot proposals.

The committee also calls on the government to implement new mechanisms for saving and paying for social care by the first session of the next Parliament with serious consideration given to an insurance-based scheme which would begin in middle age.

The report also calls for an urgent review of workforce training as well as reform of the regulatory system.

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