Latest Public Sector News

07.06.12

NHS cash used to ‘prop up’ crumbling social care system

A new report suggests that much of the money transferred from the NHS to councils for social care has been used prop up existing services.

The research by MHP Health Mandate, ‘An atlas of variations in social care’, says £115m of the £648m earmarked for ‘additional’ spending in 2011/12 is being used to maintain existing eligibility criteria for care.

The research showed that two large cities, Manchester and Sheffield spent all of their allocations of the money on maintaining existing services.

The report is critical of the huge variations in the type and quality of care available, noting that in some areas, 1 in 5 people can get homecare following an assessment, but only 1 in 25 can access it in other areas.

It also notes that a disproportionately small amount of extra money allocated for social care was spent on mental health services.

Mike Birtwistle, managing director of MHP Health Mandate and a well-known commentator on health policy, told the Telegraph: “The variations we reveal cannot be explained by differences in need.

“The current system is chaotic and too often quality is being forgotten.

“Simply funding more of the same will not deliver better social care services.”

“If the Government is going to ask the taxpayer to contribute more to the rising costs of social care, then there must be greater transparency and accountability for how this money is being spent and the quality of care being delivered.”

Read the report at http://www.mhpc.com/sites/default/files/pictures/An%20atlas%20of%20variations%20in%20social%20care%20June%202012.pdf

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