Responding to today’s keynote speech by Theresa May on funding for the NHS, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“If we are to reduce increasing pressures and avoid a year-round crisis in A&E, then investing in prevention services and reversing cuts to public health services, which keep people out of hospital, is essential.
“There cannot be a sustainable NHS without sustainable social care and public health. If we have to wait until 2020 before government addresses extra funding for adult social care and public health services – which are already at breaking point – then the demand and pressures on hospitals are unlikely to fall and further crises are likely to occur.
“Many council prevention services help to keep people well and out of hospital, such as addressing mental health, loneliness and childhood obesity. But the longer the wait for a long-term funding solution to adult social care, the more services we will lose in the meantime and the number of people we are able to help be supported in their own homes and communities will be reduced, which will impact on the NHS.
“Following this NHS funding announcement, the care and support Green Paper must now take priority, starting a similar process of securing the long-term stability of adult social care. The Government needs to address immediate sector pressures and the funding gap facing adult social care which is set to exceed £2 billion by 2020, as well as reductions in councils’ public health budgets.
“The Government must be brave in setting out the options which need to be considered if we are to solve the adult social care crisis which is vital to helping the NHS thrive.”