Following the CQC’s damning assessment of the state of the care home sector last month, there are signs that the penny is finally to begin to drop that we can’t go on like this.
While it may be politically expedient to trumpet the needs of the NHS at the expense of care services, the end result has been self-defeating.
Strains have grown on the public purse as more and more people are left stranded in costly hospital beds rather being looked after in care homes.
Meanwhile, while the needs of the NHS are championed by the BMA and other powerful lobbying groups, a single, powerful voice to speak up for adult care services has been found wanting.
Despite this, there is still hope that the realisation may begin to dawn in government that rather than simply ploughing more money into the NHS, more investment in social care provision may be a more effective way of combating a deepening healthcare crisis by enabling more cost effective care and helping to lighten the burden on hospitals.
The healthcare crisis can’t be solved by robbing Peter to pay Paul. A comprehensive integrated funding programme that treats health and care services as one interdependent body is urgently required.
The Autumn Statement provides the government with the ideal opportunity to show that the penny has finally dropped.