If Rishi Sunak does not immediately fund the failing social care sector, the billions of pounds pledged for the NHS will be reduced, NHS leaders and council bosses have warned.
As the chancellor prepares to present his budget in the House of Commons on Wednesday, he is faced with a warning that large sums set aside to clear hospital waiting lists were wasted due to social care-related disruptions in the system. Will happen.
As care homes and community nursing services are being forced to be closer to new patients, the number of people staying in the hospital for longer periods is increasing, which means either through A&E or for routine surgery. Fewer beds are available for visitors.
Labor’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “People are now in distress, stuck in hospital, instead of being sent home to receive social care because of a lack of care staff and long waiting lists.”
There have been warnings that the healthcare system could face its toughest winter so far this year as Covid cases merge with existing vulnerabilities, including in social care.
Dr Layla McKay, policy director at the NHS Confederation, said: “Health service leaders know how closely linked health and social care services are, they are sister services so when one is suffering so does the other.”
Ministers have repeatedly promised a plan to fix social care “once and for all”, but the full plan has yet to be published. A new 1.25 per cent health and care levy on national insurance would raise £12bn for the NHS to cut waiting lists before returning to social care in 2025 – a switch critics say is unlikely to happen.
The Local Government Association and the NHS Confederation have issued a joint call to the chancellor for more funding for social care in Wednesday’s budget or longer to clear the NHS backlog.
They say the money is urgently needed to help councils cope with rising demand, rising vacancies and low wages in social care. The Care Quality Commission has warned that vacancies in social care are now 10 percent, with some providers closing their doors because they can’t find nurses.
The LGA estimates £1.5bn now to stabilize the care provider market and £1.1bn per year over the next three years to meet the additional costs from increasing demand for social care while maintaining current levels of quality and access. bn is required.
In its health and social care plan published last month, the government said the challenges to health and care are “interconnected” and “social care is an integral part of our society and economy”. The LGA, which represents the councils and the NHS Confederation on behalf of the healthcare system in England, says this now needs to be translated into real action backed by resources.
If beds in hospitals remain clogged with patients who are ready to be discharged but have nowhere to go, it will mean that hospitals can perform fewer operations.
Mr Ashworth said: “Tory ministers have spent a decade slashing social care budgets pushing social care services to breaking point.
“Ministers have implemented a punitive tax increase on working people, yet they have failed to put forward any credible plans to fix social care and reform health services to ensure that patients are cared for. can go.”
Council leaders stated that increases in local council tax bills could not be relied upon to fill the gaps as the tax generates varying levels of cash depending on the value of local homes and detracts from local care needs. .
Cler David Fothergill, chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils have long warned about the impact of a diminished social care system on the NHS. There cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system. Is.
“The spending review urgently needs additional funding to help avoid a situation where people spend more time in hospital rather than in their home and communities – or their operations are routinely canceled – Because the NHS is under pressure this winter and councils are left powerless to help.”
Dr McKay said: “While [NHS leaders] Grateful for the additional investment given to help tackle the alternative care waiting list, they know that a well-funded and good-quality social distancing is vital to a healthy nation and a strong and well-performing NHS. The care sector is also important.
“New short-term funding that addresses the current crisis is urgently needed before a dangerous winter, but we also need long-term funding to fundamentally improve services and improve the recruitment and retention of social care workers.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /