FSRH and other Royal Colleges and Faculties urge chancellor to invest long-term in social care and public health
Date: 17 Oct 2018
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
A coalition of Royal Colleges and health Faculties, including FSRH, has urged UK Chancellor Philip Hammond to use the autumn budget to deliver a long-term investment in adult social care, public health services and the NHS workforce, or otherwise risk the NHS failing to meet demands despite the recent £20.5 billion funding increase.
In a letter addressed to the Chancellor – jointly signed by the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Public Health and FSRH – Hammond is warned that unless he uses the autumn budget as an opportunity to build upon the NHS funding settlement, plans for truly integrated care will not be possible and consequent demand on NHS services will not be manageable.
'There is no excuse for delay,' the 11 organisations write. 'Once again we face a winter of high bed occupancy and low staff morale, which an injection of adult social care funding will significantly alleviate.'
The letter also points towards a healthier population as the key to the long-term sustainability of all public services, including NHS and social care services, citing strong evidence that prevention is cost effective and arguing that every part of the system is linked.
It concludes: 'We can no longer afford to plan and fund health and care services in isolation. A stronger strategy to make sure we live both long and healthy lives must start now.'
The letter has been featured in national and regional media such as ITV, Daily Mail, Metro and the Cumberland News.
Read the letter in full:
Dear Mr Hammond
On behalf of healthcare professionals working across the UK, we believe that the Autumn Budget is an opportunity to build upon the significant, welcome NHS funding settlement, by delivering a long-term investment in adult social care and public health services and workforce. Without renewed investment in these areas, plans for truly integrated care will not be possible and consequent demand on NHS services will not be manageable.
Our professions have worked hard to increase the number of people who live into old age. But that has brought challenges for which we as a country have not properly planned. 40% of people over the age of 65 have a long-term health condition. These conditions must be well managed if older people are to enjoy their later years.
The Local Government Association estimates that adult social care services in England face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025. And that is just to maintain existing standards of care. This gap needs to be plugged, and a long term funding solution identified, as a matter of urgency.
If services caring for older and disabled people are not properly funded, both they and our patients in primary and secondary care suffer. People who could and should be supported in the community will remain stranded in our waiting rooms and hospital. This not only leads to
poorer outcomes for them, it significantly reduces the resources available to treat other patients.
There is no excuse for delay. Once again we face a winter of high bed occupancy and low staff morale, which an injection of adult social care funding will significantly alleviate.
A healthier population is key to the long-term sustainability of all public services, including NHS and social care services. There is strong evidence that prevention interventions are cost-effective, reduce health inequalities, and can deliver improvements in health and return on investment in the short, medium, and long-term.
Every part of the system is linked, and we can no longer afford to plan and fund health and care services in isolation. A stronger strategy to make sure we live both long and healthy lives must start now.
cc Rt Hon Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Dr James Kent, No 10 Health Policy Lead