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Housing assets should finance adult social care, says NHS England CEO


By Léa Legraien
Reporter
25 April 2018

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Social care funding should come from ‘accumulated housing assets’, said NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.

Speaking before The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and Health and Social Care Committee yesterday (24 April), Mr Stevens said he personally believes that people’s resources should ‘form part of the funding answer’.

The committee interrogated Mr Stevens on the challenges local councils and social care providers currently face on social care future funding.

‘A range of options’

Mr Stevens said: ‘There is also a personal responsibility and a mixed set of funding streams that produce the combined care service.

‘We have got to think about the comprehensive range of options here, not just one particular funding source.’

He said that we need to think about the right way to raise resources and consider ‘the relatively advantaged position of my parents’ generation relatively to my children generation’.

Several options to transform social care services are being measured, with the Government to publish a green paper containing the different proposals by summer 2018.

A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that councils might not have the resources to fund the rising costs of social care services, as Government’s cuts to the funding grant in recent years have resulted in a 21% reduction in their revenues between 2009-10 and 2016-17.

When asked if health and social care budgets should be fully integrated, Mr Stevens said that he does not think they should, ‘and the reason for that is putting two leaky funding buckets together doesn’t make a watertight health and care service.’

It comes as health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt recently sent a letter to Conservative MPs asking their views on how the Government could bring forward sustainable long-term funding plans for the NHS.

An ‘ageing population’

Mr Stevens said that there is a need to improve social care services ‘as we are an ageing country’.

He said: ‘Today, of the 100,000 of the hospital beds across England, about 18,000 of those are occupied by people that are stuck in hospital for more than 21 days.

‘A lot of that is attributable to difficulties in getting discharged. That is the equivalent of having 36 of our acute hospitals out of action.’

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