The Health Select Committee published their seventh report of Session 2013 – 2014, Public expenditure on health and social care., (February 12) This report states a recommendation that the current level of real terms funding for social care should be ring-fenced.
The report states
““We also recommend, as we did a year ago, that the current level of real terms funding for social care should be ring-fenced. Alongside the Government’s commitment to maintain health spending at current levels in real terms, this would give certainty about budgets for a whole health and care economy and provide a firm financial basis for Health and Wellbeing Boards to plan and implement transformative service change”.
“Without stronger commissioners and ring-fenced health and care funding, we believe there is a serious risk to both the quality and availability of care services to vulnerable people in the years ahead”.
Commenting on the Health Select Committee report, Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:
“This is another powerful reminder that chronic underfunding has left the social care system on its knees. The impact is being felt throughout the health and care system.
“The Committee is right to stress that unless care funding is protected more vulnerable people will slip out of the system. This means more people struggling to get up, get washed, get dressed and get out of the house; more people becoming isolated, likely to slip into crisis and ending up in A&E.
“Up and down the country social care makes a huge difference to people’s lives.
“But councils are forced to ration care. Care providers say it’s becoming impossible to work on the ground. Ultimately older and disabled people are left without the support they need.
“The Minister has engaged with the sector and acknowledged the issue. The Government’s Care Bill reforms, which are set to be voted on this month, will make a big difference.
“But the plans must go hand-in-hand with a commitment to make sure that those who need support to live independently get community care and the investment is in place to make it happen.”