The King’s Fund has come together the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation to publish a briefing on the impact of the Spending Review on health and social care.
A government department has refused again to provide any details that would clarify vital disability-related announcements made by George Osborne in last week’s spending review. For the second week running, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been unable to explain exactly what the chancellor meant when he announced funding for new accessible housing, and for disabled facilities grants (DFGs). And eight days after the chancellor’s announcement, and the publication of detailed documents by the Treasury, DCLG is still refusing to comment on whether it will provide a second year’s funding to local authorities to compensate for the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF). ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, and when it closed on 30 June it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently. But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced
Value my care
We have found that the value of the contribution made by carers in the UK is now £132 billion each year – that’s a fifth of UK Government spending.
We want Government to recognise the contribution made by carers, including the value of the care they provide to the UK economy, and provide the necessary support that carers need to be able to care effectively.
Send a clear message: value my care.
The more support we have, from carers raising this with their MP and the Chancellor, the stronger our voice will be. We are calling on Government, ahead of the Spending Review on 25 November 2015, to:
- Urgently address the chronic underfunding of the social care system
- Improve financial support for carers
- Promote a carer-friendly NHS
- Introduce a right to paid care leave
- Stimulate a diverse care market to give carers better choice and flexibility
Already joined the campaign?
Make sure that George Osborne values your care.
Find out more about our report, Valuing Carers 2015.
Today, a coalition of more than 80 of the country’s leading charities has warned that the results of a report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, is further evidence of a crisis in social care.
The report issued today by the CQC shows that 41% of providers in England were rated as inadequate or require improvement*. The CSA believe that this an inevitable result of year on year cuts in social care, which has led to chronic underfunding in the area. Councils have been forced to reduce what they pay to care providers and this has a direct impact on services.
Councils in England report that around £4.6bn has been taken out of the social care system since 2010. The CSA is clear that without additional funding social care will get worse. Further providers will exit the market and soon people may find there is no care available of any quality.
Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, Vicky McDermott, said:
“Over 40% of providers are delivering a poor standard of care and support, which is impacting on the lives of hundreds and thousands of older and disabled people who need support just to do the basics – like getting up or out of the house.
We need the Government to make a significant investment in social care at the Spending Review next month. The Chancellor should use that opportunity to address the chronic underfunding in care. Doing nothing is simply not an option if this country is to honour its obligations to older and disabled people, and their carers.”
For more information, please visit www.sense.org.uk
‘……………By Chris Ham Chief Executive
Over the road in the Treasury there is denial about the scale of the problem, in part because of a belief that the NHS is receiving more favourable treatment than most other public services. Why, it is argued, can the NHS not get its own house in order when its budget is not only protected but also continues to increase in real terms? Denial is also borne of a belief that the Chancellor is not for turning when deficit reduction is the government’s overriding priority.
The NHS’s national leaders find themselves in a difficult position, with the government having committed to finding the £8 billion additional funding identified in the NHS five year forward view by 2020/21. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has argued, with some justification, that this commitment means the government is willing to fund ‘the NHS’s own plan’. The difficulty with this argument, of course, is that the Forward View is NHS England’s plan, supported by other national bodies, not that of the NHS itself. It is based on the heroic assumption that £22 billion of productivity gains can be made in this parliament.
Conflict over the tariff and the funding of specialised services in particular is widening the gulf between national and local leaders in the NHS. The result is an uneasy alliance between George Osborne, Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens – who came together to put their weight behind the Forward View – and growing opposition from NHS providers and the organisations that speak for them. The unanswered question is where David Cameron is positioned in this debate, given his frequently expressed personal commitment to the NHS but also his close relationships with the Chancellor and the Health Secretary.
The answer may not be known until the conclusion of the Spending Review in November. The Fund has argued that the NHS will need an emergency injection of funding this year to deal with forecast deficits, perhaps amounting to £1 billion. The Spending Review would provide an opportunity to announce this funding, but it is more likely that the government will seek to ride out the storm in the hope that controls on the agency staff and management consultants and pressure to increase productivity will bring spending back in line with available funding.
If more funding is not made available, the key turning point will be the arrival of the next NHS ‘crisis’, most likely during the winter when many hospitals run out of money and all other budgets have been raided to the point of exhaustion. With NHS hospitals unable to go bankrupt and having to find ways of paying staff and creditors to maintain continuity of service to patients, the Treasury will be forced to intervene or accept a rapid and serious decline in performance. This will pose a personal challenge for Jeremy Hunt, who has led the drive to improve patient safety and quality of care over the past three years. At that point the Prime Minister will have to show his true colours.
Our submission to the Spending Review calls on the government to provide adequate funding for both the NHS and social care throughout this parliament, as well as in the current year. We also argue that if this is not done the government should be honest with the public about the inevitable fall in standards of patient care as NHS organisations cut their costs to cope with constrained budgets. There is a need too for greater realism about the time required to realise the opportunities we have identified for improving productivity, and the support NHS staff need to do so.
Honesty and realism, rather than panic and denial, are a better basis for deciding how much funding is needed and when it should be made available. Calm heads and clear thinking are needed now more than ever.
- See our submission to the spending review ……..’