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02.03.18

Lack of prevention means continuation of ‘vicious circle’ of pressure on hospitals

There are not enough resources for health and social care providers to continue providing services as they always have done, a member of the LGA’s health and wellbeing board has warned.

Speaking yesterday at the LGA/ADPH annual public health conference and exhibition 2018, Cllr Jonathan McShane, cabinet member for health, social care and culture at London Borough of Hackney, and member of the LGA community and wellbeing board, said that the current model of provision “attempts to patch up an ever-growing burden of ill health with acute and episodic hospital treatment is not working.”

“Put simply we do not have enough resources for us to continue doing what we have always done,” he said.

He explained that in order for political leaders to push the prevention agenda they needed “a willingness to rise above sectional interests, honesty and bravery.”

McShane argued that a “place-based approach” will require leaders to act in the interests of communities, “even if that means ceding power and resources to partners,” adding that partners must operate in the same way.

He also suggested that there must be an “open book approach” to resources and budgets, and honesty with communities, including holding frank and open discussions with them about the health and care services that people wanted and that authorities can provide.

“Citizens have a right to be engaged to have say in how their money is spent but they also have a responsibility to ensure to use precious and scarce resources wisely,” explained McShane.

“Without investment in prevention and early intervention, we will only ever see a continuation of the current vicious circle in which inadequate investment in these areas puts increasing pressure on hospitals, which then attract scarce resources.

“To put it another way, we need to tackle the cause of the pressures on hospitals and their budgets, not just keep treating the symptoms.”

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