Latest Public Sector News

06.01.17

PM urged to reach swift agreement on health and social care funding

Three House of Commons select committee chairs have urged the prime minister, Theresa May, to reach a cross-party agreement on the future of health and social care funding in a letter sent today.

The letter, sent by the chairs of the Health, Public Accounts, and Communities and Local Government Committees, argues the need for a “political consensus” to solve the country’s health and social care crisis, calling on May to invite all parties to participate in an urgent review.

The letter follows the prime minister’s appearance before the Liaison Committee before Christmas to discuss health and social care funding,  when she cast doubt on initial cross-party involvement on the basis that it had previously not been fruitful, but did not rule the option out.

“We were encouraged by your recognition at the Liaison Committee that everyone has a part to play in finding a sustainable way of ensuring social care provision in the future. You also accepted the need for a review to find a way of funding social care sustainably for the long term,” the letter from MPs Dr Sarah Wollaston, Meg Hillier, and Clive Betts reads.

“We believe that can best be achieved if there is cross-party consensus, and therefore urge you to invite all parties to become involved in a review, which should begin as soon as possible. Given the scale of rising demand, this immense challenge will face whichever Party is in government over the coming decades.”

The committee chairs have stressed that the consensus should be reached swiftly so that the agreed approach can be reflected in the next round of government spending.

The chairs also emphasised the importance of integrating health and social care funding, after May said that the government was “focused on social care” but would look at “how it interacts with health” during the Liaison Committee hearing.

“We also feel that the ongoing separation of health and social care is creating difficulties for individuals and avoidable barriers and inefficiencies. Any review should cover the two systems,” the letter comments.

The King’s Fund agreed with the content of the letter, saying that a new settlement for health and social care is “long overdue” after it issued a joint statement on the matter with the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation ahead of last year’s Autumn Statement.

“Securing sustainable funding for social care is a challenge that successive governments have failed to meet. The result is that the social care system has become a threadbare safety net that is being stretched ever more thinly, with the sector facing a £2.4bn funding gap,” said Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund.

“For too long there has been a lack of political leadership on these issues. We agree with the committee chairs that a political consensus that puts health and social care funding on a sustainable footing is sorely needed. Without a consensus, patients and people in need will suffer.”

Ham stressed the need for a single, ring-fenced budget for the NHS and social care paid for by increased public funding. It is hoped that additional funds for councils to use for social care will be raised through the government’s decision to bring forward a 1% rise in the council tax precept for two years in last December’s local government finance settlement.

 Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

The digital buying community is live

12/11/2018The digital buying community is live

Many of the requirements from buyers posted on the Digital Marketplace were... more >
A force to be reckoned with

12/11/2018A force to be reckoned with

The South Bank plan, which refers to a number of investments and proposed a... more >

interviews

New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has... more >

the raven's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

12/12/2018Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

Ahead of the upcoming networking extravaganza EvoNorth, we caught up with Gary Wallis-Clarke, a member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group, executive he... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >