Responding to a National Audit Office report on the “Health and Social Care Interface”, which assesses the challenges preventing health and social care from working together effectively, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“It is good that the report recognises that despite the significant financial pressure and the uncertainty of future funding affecting councils, they continue to protect adult social care. However, the lack of funding for care and support is making it increasingly difficult for local authorities to plan effectively to bring together health and social care around the person.
“The focus on both short-term funding crises and reducing pressure on acute and inpatient services, rather than prevention and wider community support work by councils, is hindering the ability to transform health and social care services. Government needs to tackle immediate pressures and plug the £3.5 billion funding gap facing adult social care by 2025 to help better manage demands on councils and hospitals.
“It was a huge disappointment that the Government postponed it green paper until the autumn. As a result, the LGA will be publishing its own green paper on adult social care, which will outline options for funding and the care and support model of joined-up care.
“Integration has the potential to transform services to provide better coordinated care for people who need it – providing it puts people at the heart of decisions which is essential if we are to improve the quality of individuals’ lives.
“We support the report’s recognition that Health and Wellbeing Boards should continue to be key part of governance arrangements.”