A House of Commons Health Committee report on the impact of last year’s Spending Review has expressed “grave doubts” that a five year plan to improve the capability and capacity of the NHS and social care system will be delivered.
The committee concluded that, with much of the upfront investment flowing from the Spending Review being used to address deficits, there is a real danger that greater integration and the move to the new models of care set out in the Five Year Forward View will stall.
“The integration of health and social care – not just the integration of funding, as in the Better Care Fund, but getting commissioners and service providers to work more closely together to deliver a service to their local population – is not proceeding at the required pace,” the committee’s report states.
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the Health Social Committee, adds: “Historical cuts to social care funding have now exhausted the opportunities for significant further efficiencies in this area.
“Increasing numbers of people with genuine social care needs are no longer receiving the care they need because of a lack of funding. This not only causes considerable distress to these individuals and their families but results in additional costs to the NHS. We are concerned about the effect of additional funding streams for social care not arriving later in the Parliament.”
Responding to the report, Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “The findings demonstrate very clearly that people are not getting the care that they need and this needs to be tackled with immediate action.”
For more on this story, see next month’s issue of Care Home Professional.