The Prime Minister is to announce more funding for the NHS after speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC 1 yesterday and writing in the Mail on Sunday. However, this is not expected to include social care.
The headline figure in the Prime Minister's announcement of more funding for the NHS was £20bn extra a year in real terms by 2023/24.
Responding to the announcement, Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said, 'As our health service celebrates its 70th birthday, it’s right that the Government has decided to invest in the NHS. This is one important measure of a country’s values, how it treats the health of its citizens, and this funding will help put healthcare on a more secure footing. We sincerely hope that this will be invested in primary and community health services to keep people well at home so that they do not need hospital care.
'It is deeply disappointing to see no further investment in social care in this settlement. As has been remarked before, putting money into the NHS without putting it into social care is like pouring water down a sink with no plug in. There is sufficient evidence to be clear that investing in healthcare delivers only a partial solution to better meeting the health and social care needs of many people in society. If we want to truly transform lives and reduce the pressures on hospitals, we must invest in supporting people at home, in their communities. That is the job of social care alongside community and primary health services.
'Of course, as well as our doctors and nurses who do a phenomenal job, so too do our dedicated and skilled social care staff, who do everything they can to help older and disabled adults live as independently as possible without seeing the salary increases that NHS staff do – an imbalance which must be addressed. Family carers also play an incredible role in supporting their loved ones and more support for them must be made available as urgently as possible.
'If we’re to truly put health and social care on a sustainable footing, we must tackle it as a whole. Six months after the Department for Health was re-named to include Social Care, we have seen a funding settlement that provides money for health but very little for social care, which avoids tackling the challenges in our care services, the frailty of social care providers and communities and, in turn, results in further pressure on our hospitals.
'The Government must find the money for social care urgently, by bringing forward the social care Green Paper with a long-term funding solution which can put both health and care on a sustainable footing. This week we have warned that a third of councils have seen care providers close or cease to trade in the last six months – the need for a solution to this is both urgent and immediate, and short-term funding must continue until it is provided.'
National Care Forum (NCF) has also responded saying that it believes that the increased funding announced this weekend for the NHS will provide essential funds, but needs to be matched by an immediate focus on addressing the fragility of the social care sector.
'Recognising the need for greater public spending on health is just part of the picture,' said Vic Rayner, Executive Director of NCF. 'We know that there is a need for an integrated solution to the challenges facing our public health and care system, and it is vital that the Government takes this on board. There should now be no delay in the production of a bold and audacious Green Paper that enables social care to offer an ambitious service to meet the needs of citizens now and in the future.
'Whilst further announcements are expected today to determine how additional NHS funding should be spent, and a budget announcement later in the year in relation to how this funding will be generated – the recent ADASS budget survey shows that social care continues to fall behind.
'The long-term solutions to either health or care should not be seen in isolation and it is imperative that all further planning, announcements and strategies no longer just talk about integration, but ensure that it is a meaningful partnership of equals. This would be the ultimate birthday present for communities across the country.'