Parliamentary report calls for social care review

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A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called on NHS England and the Department of Health to set out a plan to halt the decline of health and social care by July.

The PAC investigation into the Finance Stability of the NHS was chaired by Labour MP Meg Hillier.

The Labour MP described the government’s short term “sticking plaster” approach to health and social care as unsustainable, adding it “represents neither good value to taxpayers nor the best interests of patients”.

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The PAC report notes the social care system is unable to meet demand due to “extreme pressures” on funding.

It adds that local authority spending on adult care services fell by 10% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2014-15.

NHS England confirmed that the social care system is not keeping up with demand and that this is putting a significant strain on its services.

The number of people experience delays in being discharged from hospital as a result of a lack of social care has doubled over the last three years.

The report notes “there is currently no estimate of the financial impact of social care pressures on the NHS”.

It says this should be assessed by NHS England and the Department of Health so that it can better understand the nature of the problem and how it can be managed.

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