Responding to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget statement, Dr Amanda Doyle, NHSCC co-chair and chief clinical officer of Blackpool CCG said: “We are pleased that the government has announced additional funding to help address the huge challenges facing social care and the severe knock-on impact this has had on the NHS. Swift action is needed and so this money must hit the frontline to benefit the whole system – and most importantly patients – as soon as possible. We agree that there needs to be a targeted, integrated approach with NHS and social care working together to consider how the money is best spent so that it reaches those areas and people most in most need.
“Years of cuts to social care have contributed to the current difficulties being faced by healthcare, with people needing to stay in hospital when they would be better at home if the right care was available. While this money will help in the short-term, the review into the long-term sustainability of social care funding, is vital. Given the intrinsic link between social care and the NHS, the former must be adequately resourced for the latter to succeed.”
Dr Graham Jackson, co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners and clinical chair of NHS Aylesbury Vale CCG continued: “While welcome, this money does not mean the challenges are over. Year on year the money available to the NHS has simply not kept pace with the increasing demand for services. Our members have been trying to do more with less, striving to continue commissioning high quality care for patients despite effectively having a fall in available funds. Additional funding for social care has the potential to alleviate some of this demand on the NHS but pressures still remain. We have been calling for some time for an open, honest debate on what the NHS can be expected to deliver with its current level of funding and we repeat this call again today.
“The focus now must be on delivering the necessary change across health and care. The capital investment announced for the STPs is an important recognition that transformation needs resources. Our members have been concerned that the focus in the past year has been on maintaining the current system rather than supporting transformation. If we are to have a sustainable NHS going forward we must see change – commissioners and our partners across health and care must be able to work together to transform services to meet the needs of the populations they serve.”
8 March 2017