Local government, health and social care leaders have signed a letter published in today’s Observer (25 January) warning we cannot wait any longer for the looming disaster in health and care to be fixed.
“The health and social care system is chronically underfunded. While this remains the case, care and support for elderly and disabled people will only deteriorate. It is vital we put this right. Spending on social care has been prioritised by councils, but a 40% cut in government funding over this parliament has taken its toll. It is an inescapable truth that reduced funding for social care has had a knock-on impact on NHS services.
“Councils work incredibly hard with health partners to ease the growing strain on the NHS. But putting extra investment into the NHS without easing the pressure on council budgets is not the solution. Without adequate funding for care, the NHS will continue to be forced to pick up the pieces from a social care system that is not resourced to meet demands, which will be increasingly unable to keep people out of hospitals. This would be a disaster for the health service and those left languishing in hospital beds instead of being cared for in their own homes and communities.
“Our frontline staff are increasingly concerned about the impact this is having on vulnerable people in our care. It’s not enough to plaster over the cracks. Government must invest money in protecting a system which will be there to look after people now and in the future, and must commit to a long-term strategy to ensure people get the care they need. The system is in crisis now. We cannot wait any longer for it to be fixed.”
Cllr David Sparks,
Chair, Local Government Association
Chief executive, Royal College of Nursing
Chief executive, NHS Confederation
Dr Mark Porter
Chair, British Medical Association
Chair, Care and Support Alliance
See the letter online here: http://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/jan/25/letters-what-puts-young-people-off-voting