NHS Confederation responds to NAO report on adult social care

Rory Deighton comments on the impact that failing to reform adult social care may have on the NHS

10 November 2023

Responding to the National Audit Office report Reforming adult social care in England, Rory Deighton, director of NHS Confederation's acute network, said: 

“This report makes clear that there are a multitude of problems for the government to sort out in social care, with long waiting lists, workforce shortages, pressure on finances, provider stability, and high care costs all contributing to these pressures which rising inflation is also compounding.

“Tackling these will require resourcing and of course a political appetite to do so, but this report suggests the government’s ambitions are being scaled back and finds that there is no long-term funded plan for the transformation of adult social care.

“As sister services, the performance of the NHS is interwoven with that of social care. The health service cannot operate to its potential without an adequately resourced and functioning social care sector, but further delays to reform and redirection of funding demonstrates a shortsightedness around how this will affect the wider health and care system.  

“With pressures on the NHS as they are, and with over 150,000 vacancies in social care, the first place to start with reform would be to produce a fully funded workforce plan to mirror that of the health service.”