Responding to the Public Accounts Committee report on health and social care, Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said:

“This report reveals the need for social care and health services to be able to plan for the long-term together. Against a backdrop of significant funding shortfalls, with social care now making up over 40 per cent of council budgets, the first step towards that happening is Government  proposing a range of options in the upcoming green paper that deliver a long-term sustainable funding solution for adult social care.

“That Green Paper should feed heavily into the NHS Plan and vice versa, as we need to recognise that health and social care are interdependent. As has been remarked before, not least many times in the last few weeks by myself, pouring money into the NHS without investing in social care is like pouring water down a sink with no plug in.

“We support a strong focus on a local, democratically accountable, approach – it’s important that we strengthen Health and Wellbeing boards to enable elected local leaders to play a vital role in shaping integrated services   alongside NHS colleagues. But our starting point cannot be the system – it must be the person who needs care and support, so it’s essential that “integrated care” focuses first and foremost on their experience and aspirations, including looking at social aspects of their needs, including housing and loneliness.

“Health and Social Care work best when they work together – so we support local pooling and integration of the things which can help, including budgets, IT systems, co-ordinated care within primary and community settings and a focus around the “lived experience” of those in receipt of care. If we put the person we are caring for at the centre of an integrated system, built at the local level, and anchor social care with long-term, sustainable funding, we can transform not just the care experience, but our communities, too.”