This week the NHS 10-Year Plan was announced, which set out long-term proposals for the health service, including a bigger focus on prevention.
You can read the plan here. Below, the County Councils Network responds.
Cllr David Williams, health and social care spokesman for the County Councils Network, said:
“Today’s ten-year plan for the NHS signals a clear change in emphasis to ensure services are fit for purpose in the 21st century – moving from reactive acute care to care in the community, primary care, and mental health services. This is something that the County Councils Network has called for and is to be welcomed.
“It is also worth remembering today’s announcement puts the flesh on the bones of the NHS £20bn ‘birthday windfall’ announced last year. This is the biggest investment in any public service in recent times, in contrast to adult social care and year-on-year cuts to public health grants. If today’s reforms are to be successful, then preventative services and adult social care need to be fully funded, whilst councils need to be given a clear role in integrating care services in their communities.
“Counties face the most acute pressures in delivering social care services, with our councils facing a funding gap of over £1bn by 2020 in adult social care alone. It is disappointing that the social care green paper has not been published in tandem with today’s NHS plan as local care services clearly need a sustainable financial footing in the long-term. Health and social care are two sides of the same coin and funding one without the other simply creates a false economy, especially when considering the preventative focus of today’s proposals. A fully-funded high quality social care system is required to ensure support for people outside of acute healthcare and to prevent hospital admissions.
“To that end, the government should consider making one fifth of the NHS funding available for local authorities at the Spending Review to deliver care services in tandem with this preventative focus.
“At the same time, local government will play a pivotal part in ensuring that care in the community and the preventative agenda are successful. The NHS and government needs to be clear on the role that councils will play in ensuring that services are closer aligned in communities. With today’s announcement signalling how some of the NHS £20bn is to be spent, local authorities with their democratic accountability and transparency, must have a say on how resource is spent in their localities. Lessons should be learned on what has worked – and what hasn’t – in local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships.”