It’s starting to feel like a long, drawn out breakup. Everyone knows it isn’t working but no-one wants to admit that there just isn’t a solution to the problem.
If it was a break up it would go a bit like this:
“I have to be open and honest with you and say what we’ve all been thinking for some time.
“No one really wants to admit it but there is no solution to the current health and social care crisis.
“We’ve been on the rocks for some time now and we’ve worked desperately hard to make it work. We really have tried. The cuts needed and the resulting pressures on local authorities is unprecedented. Putting aside all the reports of a speculated ‘sweetheart’ deal, Surrey County Council proposed to increase council tax by 15% and Liverpool wasn’t far behind with an initial proposed 10% increase. It’s an impossible task.
“Even this week The Kings Fund report ‘Delivering sustainability and transformation plans – from ambitious proposals to credible plans’ stated that ‘cuts in social care and public health and a lack of earmarked funds to support transformation will affect the ability of NHS organisations and their partners to implement their (STP) plans.’ Social care funding, or lack of, was a reoccurring theme throughout the report.
“In the local government finance settlement, the Government confirmed that councils will be allowed to increase council tax by 6% over the next two years to fund social care services. A move which would help generate an addition £652m by 2020. Councils will also have access to a £240m adult social care support fund. However, even if all councils imposed the full precept it still leaves a funding gap of more than £2.6bn by 2020. And that’s a big gap.
We’ve given it everything we have
“No one can say that we haven’t tried. We gave it everything we could and still continue to do so. Local authorities are looking at ways to reduce the financial deficit – clever telemedicine, in-home support, innovative ways of working, integrated solutions across all partners private and public, use of technology and utilising the third sector. But it still leaves a big gap.
What does our future hold?
“There’s no-one else involved, no other options on the table, it’s just not working the way it is at the moment. The truth is that technology and medicine is makes us live longer, and in some cases resulting in more complex needs that need to be cared for. However, we don’t have the money to pay for our longevity. We need more capacity as well as new models of care – not just nursing homes.
“The harsh reality is that the younger generations will have to shift their lifestyles to accommodate looking after older generations.
Inevitably this will mean that we need to look at different services, how they are delivered and who will deliver them. We also need a better understanding of segmented needs along with matching resources to determine new ways for us to do things.
“It’s time we admitted there wasn’t a solution. We can’t continue as we are. It’s not sustainable and it’s having an impact on everyone around us.”
What are your thoughts on the health and social care crisis? And do you think there is a solution?