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NHS Confederation has urged the new health and social care secretary to ‘grasp the social care challenge’.
NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson and chairman Stephen Dorell on Tuesday wrote a letter to Matt Hancock, urging him to reveal more details on the social care funding settlement.
The letter comes ahead of the publication of a green paper on adult social care, which is expected to be released in the autumn.
The NHS Confederation leaders said there is ‘unfinished business in the settlement announced last month’.
Mr Dickson and Mr Dorrell wrote: ‘We need to know the future funding arrangements for social care, public health, staff training and capital.
‘Without these elements, there is a danger the additional money identified thus far will not achieve the transformation in these services which is so badly needed.
‘As well as more resources, a concerted effort is needed to create more integrated services, tackle unwarranted variation, introduce new technology and ways of working and new models of care in the community.’
They argued that the green paper should set out ‘realistic options that will address the current and future funding challenge.’
They added: ‘The case for short-term funding to lift the immediate pressures on social care is also overwhelming.
‘We do not need an NHS plan, we need a health and care plan. The current system is fragmented, but can be united behind a set of common priorities.’
According to the Local Government Association (LGA), adult social care will face a £3.5bn funding gap by 2025 if no action is taken.
Unmet care needs
LGA’s community wellbeing board chairman councillor Izzi Seccombe said that ‘people’s unmet care needs will continue to increase unless a long-term funding settlement like the NHS is secured for the sector and further funding is made available for council’s public health and prevention services.’
She continued: ‘Investment in councils’ prevention work in communities is vital for people’s wellbeing, for reducing demands on the NHS and social care and for saving money to the public purse.
‘We look forward to working with the new health and social care secretary on the increasingly urgent need to secure an immediate and long-term funding settlement for adult social care to rescue it from a point of crisis and enable it to play its part in helping people to live independently and well.’