Chairman of the Local Government Associations Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, has released the following response to the recent National Audit Office financial sustainability report of the NHS:
“These figures show the unprecedented financial pressure both the health service and the care system are under. The two are interlinked: there cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system.
“This is why in our Autumn Statement submission to the Treasury, we are calling on the Chancellor to address the growing funding crisis in social care to ensure a fair care system where everybody can receive safe, high-quality care and support, and not just those fortunate enough to be able to pay for it.
“Our new analysis has found that social care for the elderly and disabled could be facing a funding gap of at least £2.6 billion. This includes at least £1.3 billion right now to stabilise the provider market based on what providers say they need and what councils are able to afford, and a further £1.3 billion by 2019/20 to deal with the additional pressures brought about by an ageing population, inflation, and the cost of paying the National Living Wage.
“Councils are absolutely committed to reducing the level of delayed transfers of care from the NHS and are working with providers and hospitals to help reduce pressures on the NHS. Councils continue to work with their local health partners to improve people’s health, wellbeing and experience of care, as well as to support greater financial sustainability for the whole system; they see sustainability and transformation plans as an important vehicle to redesign health and care services, as long as they are underpinned by local political leadership and with the full engagement of local communities.
“In order to deliver the best possible health service and care service we need to start with a care and support system that goes beyond just helping our loved ones getting washed, dressed and fed, but supports them to live dignified, independent lives.”