Disability charity Enham Trust which supports people in their transition towards living lives of choice, control and independence commented following the Autumn Statement 2016
“We appreciate the difficult financial position of the chancellor and his efforts to provide an efficient National Health Service and effective social care and we recognise that however much money he finds, there will always be demands for more. However we are disappointed that this Autumn Statement offered no additional relief to ease the growing funding crisis in health and social care.
“This makes it ever more important that we recognise it’s not all about spending more money; it’s about making what we do have go further. At Enham Trust, we have worked to develop some innovative, cost effective ideas as a third sector care provider that would help to make NHS and social care budgets more efficient, allowing them to help and care for more people.
“A central database of care resources kept up to date and accessible by all care and health professionals be they private, NHS or third sector, would improve efficiency. Our experience is that referring parties are often unaware of some of the country’s best and most innovative care facilities, often provided by the third sector at a fraction of what it costs the NHS.
“Similarly, a mechanism where regional data can be shared between the different health and care parties would save time and money. Data is currently kept in silos, risking the creation of disparate records for the same services, facilities and even residents. It’s inefficient, ineffective and expensive.
“Finally, we would like to see a reformed approach to care and health budgets. Care must be looked at holistically, in terms of not only therapies and procedures, but also patient cost. It’s time to stop the health and social care domino effect – where a demand for localised cost savings deliver a small saving in one place while creating a disproportionately larger spend elsewhere.
Professor Rhidian Hughes, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group chief executive said:
“The cost of providing social care services is continuing to rise. While the national living wage is welcomed, there is no additional funding in place to adequately cover the costs of such measures. In addition, there are no breaks, like corporation tax reductions, for voluntary organisations.
“The Chancellor has missed an important opportunity to put social care funding back on track. Consequently this country is seriously compromising its duty to provide essential care and support to millions of disabled and older people.”
Professor Martin Green Chief Executive of Care England commented that the Autumn Statement was a “Missed opportunity”
Commenting on the Chancellor’s first and last Autumn Statement, he said, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care has expressed its disappointment.
“Yet again the Chancellor has ignored social care. In doing so the Government needs to be prepared for the detrimental impact on families, local economies and the NHS. Social care needs to be a priority, indeed in some regions it is a huge employer and stability is crucial for those in receipt of care and those in its employment”.
“As expected, the Chancellor raised the National Living Wage, from £7.20 to £7.50 by April 2017. Whilst the adult social care sector applauds this, it needs to be accompanied by commensurate funding for the sector.
Martin Green continued:
“Unfortunately the lack of investment in social care spells disaster in the NHS and potentially a perpetual winter”.