National deafblind charity Sense has responded to the Health Select Committee’s report examining the impact of the Spending Review on health and social care.
The report, which states that the scale of the health funding challenge is ‘colossal’, highlights that despite increased health and social care spending, services are under unprecedented strain and struggling to keep pace with rising demand.
Referencing findings from the recent Association of Directors of Adult Social Services’ (ADASS) report, which found that adult social care budgets have been reduced by £4.6 billion (31%) in the last five year, the Health Select Committee recognises that the increased pressure on social care funding has been compounded by the growing number of people needing support. The report also revealed that in June 2015, 400,000 fewer disabled and older people received social care than in 2009-2010, as a direct result of Local Authorities responding to budget pressures by reducing access to social care.
In response to these stark findings, Sense has expressed its concerns that financial strains on health and social care are having a detrimental impact on older and disabled people and is calling for adequate and sustained funding for both the health and social care service.
Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at Sense said:
“We know that inadequate social care has a knock on effect and results in further demands on the NHS, which is why funding cuts to social care are simply a false economy. For example, when local authorities are unable to fund appropriate care it will lead to many older and disabled people missing out on the services they desperately need for day-to-day life, which could lead to deterioration in their conditions and a greater reliance on the health system.
Although the Comprehensive Spending Review included a welcome recognition that more money was needed for social care, the reality highlighted in the Health Select Committee’s report is that the money promised is not enough to fill the current funding gaps.
The chronically underfunded system is having a detrimental effect on older and disabled people who desperately need to access services, which is why it is critical that the Government releases enough funds to guarantee the right level of health and social care support for those who need it. Provision of adequate social care goes hand in hand with an effective healthcare system and we welcome the report’s proposal that there is an urgent plan for adult social care, which addresses the current social care situation and deals with its effect on health services.”