08 / 3 / 2017 9.47am
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has today (8 March) announced a series of measures to support better integration of health and social care. The move has been welcomed by the NHS Confederation as news that the government has ‘finally woken up’ to the struggles faced by hospitals and community services.
Today’s announcements included:
- an extra £2bn in funding for social care across the next three years, with £1bn available in the next year to allow local authorities to act now to commission new care packages. This funding will act as a bridge to the Better Care Fund, which becomes available towards the end of this parliament.
- a Green Paper to be published in the autumn setting out the options for the future funding of social care.
- £325m investment in a small number of STPs that are ready ahead of schedule, to allow the plans to proceed.
- further investment where necessary for other STPs, with a further announcement in the Autumn Budget around a multi-year capital investment programme for the implementation of STPs across England.
NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson has now urged the Chancellor to ‘continue listening’ around long-term social care funding:
“This is good news – on social care the government has finally woken up to what many of us have been saying for some time – that hospitals and community services are desperately struggling, and that huge numbers of vulnerable older people are receiving inadequate or non-existent care.
“The extra funding will definitely help, but we await the details. We also welcome the announcement of a Green Paper on the long-term funding of social care - let us hope this time it results in action and not more words.
“The promise of additional capital funding to support local transformation plans is also welcome – without this it will be impossible to develop the new services that are so desperately needed.
Read Niall’s full response in our media centre and access our on-the-day briefing, which has further detail and comment on today’s Budget announcements.