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NHS leaders warn funding failures have led to care crisis

Healthcare leaders have warned not enough investment is being made in social care.

A survey of 140 NHS trust leaders, conducted by NHS Providers, found that 83% are worried that insufficient investment is being made in social care in their area .

The survey also revealed that 56% are worried that the government and its arms length bodies are not effectively supporting the delivery of a sustainable service in their area. While 94% are extremely or moderately concerned about the impact of seasonal pressures over winter.

However, 68% of leaders say the quality of care being provided in their local area is high or very high, and 92% report that collaboration across different organisations in their communities to improve services for patients has increased during the pandemic.

NHS Providers chief executive, Chris Hopson, said funding failures created crisis in social care and has warned that gaps in health spending must be addressed in the forthcoming comprehensive spending review in order to protect the NHS from a similar fate.

‘We elect our politicians to tackle the difficult issues,’ said Mr Hopson.

‘For two decades they have failed us deeply, consistently and unacceptably by promising to sort the crisis in social care and then failing to do so.

‘Having driven social care into crisis by failing to fund it properly and sustainably, we must avoid driving the NHS into a similar fate. And we obviously need to rescue social care from its current state of crisis.’

Responding to the survey, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said:

‘Social care services will play an absolutely vital role in relieving pressure on the NHS this winter, especially as we look to minimise the second wave of coronavirus.

‘Councils and care providers have been working constantly throughout the pandemic to support our elderly and most vulnerable people, despite also facing rising demand and significant financial burdens.

‘Social care deserves parity of esteem with the NHS, with the pandemic highlighting the incredibly valuable role of social care in its own right.

‘The upcoming Spending Review must urgently provide councils with the extra funding they need to help shore up social care ahead of winter, while also using this as the basis for future reform of social care to place it on a long-term, sustainable footing.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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