Social care coalition urges government to address 'perilous state' of services

Health for Care coalition has written to the prime minister setting out basis for a sustainable social care syste

Health for Care coalition has written to the prime minister setting out basis for a sustainable social care system

Social care
Picture: iStock

The government must address the ‘perilous state' of social care services by ensuring secure and long-term funding by April 2020, says a coalition of 15 health organisations.

The Health for Care coalition, led by NHS Confederation, has written to the prime minister setting out the principles it believes should be the basis for a sustainable social care system.

Publication of the government’s social care green paper has been delayed several times since it was announced in the March 2017 budget, but it is expected to be published this year.

Coalition principles

The Health for Care coalition believes that:

  • Eligibility should be based on need and must be widened to make sure that those with unmet or under-met need have access to appropriate care and support.
  • Any new settlement should provide secure, long-term, funding at a level to enable the social care system to operate effectively and deliver the outcomes that people want and need.
  • Any significant additional funds must come with a willingness to reform and improve the ways in which care is delivered.

Gary Kirwan
Gary Kirwan

Age UK has identified that that at least 1.4 million older people have ‘unmet or under-met need’.

Long-term investment

RCN national officer team leader Gary Kirwan said: ‘The government must deliver long-term investment in the full health and social care system that currently leaves staff feeling undervalued and vulnerable people given inadequate care. 

Clifford Kilgore
Clifford Kilgore
Picture: Chris Balcombe

‘What’s also required is legislation that guarantees the right number of nurses and nursing support staff to provide safe and effective care across all settings, including social care.’

British Geriatrics Society Nurses and Allied Health Professionals Council chair Clifford Kilgore warned: ‘The problem we’re facing in this country is an increasing age of people living with more complex problems.

Niall Dickson
Niall Dickson

'We are also starting to identify frailty and the risks associated with frailty – it is creating a greater demand on a system that has not yet been overhauled.

‘Social care services are still incredibly patchy. I’m not certain anyone actually knows how to fix this, but the good thing about the coalition and the letter to the prime minister is that it is highlighting important ongoing issues within the sector at a key time.’

NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘Finding a sustainable solution is among the greatest challenges we face. Successive governments have failed to deal with this, but we have reached a point where we cannot go on like this – time is running out.’

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