Healthcare and social care are inextricably linked.
With local authorities experiencing unprecedented funding cuts over the last few years, many councils (90 per cent) are having to restrict access to care by tightening eligibility thresholds. Four hundred thousand fewer people now receive publicly funded social care.
This is having an impact on the NHS, with many Confed members reporting knock-on effects – especially in hospitals. Our 2015 survey of more than 300 senior healthcare leaders found that:
"Social care is on its knees and the NHS is feeling the pain," the head of the NHS Confederation, Rob Webster said in March 2015.
- 92 per cent agree that cuts to social care funding are putting more pressure on their organisation and services for patients.
- Pressures include an increase in the time an individual remains in hospital (79 per cent); increased demand for community services (69 per cent); increased numbers of individuals attending hospital (67 per cent) and increased number of people being admitted to hospital (66 per cent).
What can be done?
Experts predict a £4.3 billion black hole in social care budgets by 2020. Alongside the £30 billion funding gap facing the NHS, urgent action is desperately needed. Eighty-seven per cent of leaders in our survey support the need for binding agreements on NHS and social care spending over the next five years.
We are ramping up our efforts to secure a sustainable long-term settlement for both the NHS and social care.
What are we doing?