Responding to the Government’s announcement of more funding for the NHS to celebrate its 70th birthday, Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said:
“As our health service celebrates its seventieth 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 health care 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 health care 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."