Niall Dickson: Social care inquiry correct to highlight need for cross-party consensus

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Niall Dickson

Responding to the final report of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s Adult Social Care inquiry, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: 

“We join the committee in welcoming the additional £2bn for social care over the next three years and are pleased the Government has woken up to the pressures on hospitals and community services from huge numbers of vulnerable older people receiving inadequate or non-existent care.

“However, we also share the committee’s view that there is a need for a wider cross-party consensus based on objective evidence about what funding is needed for both health and social care over the longer term and how this should be paid for. 

“With this in mind, we hope the Government takes on board the committee’s recommendations in relation to its social care green paper, which we agree should consider the wide range of uses for which social care funding is required including care and support, early intervention and prevention, and the training and development of care staff. 

“We acknowledge that integration of health and social care is an important part of the solution and we agree it has the potential to bring benefits, but it is important to recognise that it is not a silver bullet and will not solve the problem of social care funding in the long term.

“We strongly support the calls made in the report asking for local government and the NHS to continue to work together to shape services for their local populations. 

“We have been clear that local government and health need to continue to build strong relationships and they need to be equal partners in the development of local Sustainability and Transformation Plans.”

Background: 

The NHS Confederation provided written evidence to the select committee, while the Confederation’s Chair, Stephen Dorrell, appeared in front of the committee last year, where he made it very clear that the NHS was suffering because of shortages in social care provision.

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