NHS costs driven up by cuts to social care

NHS costs are being forced up by underfunding of local authorities, health service managers have warned ahead of the publication of a government White Paper on social care.

NHS Confereration chief executive Mike Farrar: future of NHS at risk
NHS Confereration chief executive Mike Farrar: future of NHS at risk

A total of 66% of NHS managers who took part in an NHS Confederation poll said demand on health services had risen over the past 12 months as a result of local authority funding cuts.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar warned the health and social care services were 'heading for collapse' unless the government acted quickly to define what the state would pay for and what the public must fund.

Meanwhile, the Alzheimer's Society warned that the White Paper would not be 'worth the paper it was written on' if it failed to offer a commitment to reform funding for people with dementia.

More than 90% of respondents to the poll said delayed discharges from hospital had risen, 87% reported rising demand for community services and 75% said there was more demand for mental health services. More than half said acute admissions to hospital, A&E attendances and emergency readmissions had risen.

More than two thirds of respondents called for greater integration of care and expansion of community services.

Mr Farrar said: 'The proposals expected in the White Paper - particularly the emphasis on integration, personalisation and prevention - will go some way to prevent people falling through the gaps in the system.

'However, no part of the health and social care system is insulated from what happens in another. We know that our colleagues in social care are struggling against the odds.

'All of us find it unacceptable that people should arrive at A&E because they are unable to access the care and support they need by their local authority.'

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