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NHS Long Term Plan ignores crisis in social care says DR UK

07 January 2019

The NHS Long Term Plan

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This is a ten-year strategy aimed at tackling the pressures NHS staff face, whilst making any extra funding go as far as possible.

It also considers how patient care can be redesigned to future-proof the NHS for the decade ahead.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, and Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society and co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“The new NHS Plan has much to offer disabled people, older people and carers but it will be like a plane flying with one of its engines misfiring unless social care can also fully play its part. Last year the Government agreed that Health and Care are interdependent and said it was postponing the launch of the Social Care Green Paper, so it could be published alongside this NHS Plan, but today, with no Green Paper, this looks more like just a good excuse to kick the can down the road once again.  

“When will the Government wake up and realise that there is no avoiding the need for significant additional public investment in social care and present us with some proposals for bringing this about? With the NHS Plan now published the onus is firmly on Ministers, the Chancellor especially, to give social care the financial backing it needs.  

“Millions of disabled people and older people rely on good social care every day to live their lives and to stay fit and well. Today it is more obvious than ever that we desperately need a care system worthy of the name. Dedicated care staff keep delivering for their clients, but they are often doing it despite the system they work in, not because of it. They deserve better, as do the disabled people and older people they support day in, day out.”

Sue Bott, Deputy CEO Disability Rights UK. said:

"The NHS long-term plan is all good and worthy but as CSA observes, without fixing the crisis in social care its success will be seriously undermined.  Government needs to wake up to what is happening to people who rely on care and support.  Just to take two examples of how disabled people are being impacted: Norfolk County Council are planning a massive hike in care charges and Walsall Council has decided to cut its community alarm scheme that 7,000 disabled people and older people rely on.  This situation cannot be allowed to continue."

NHS Long Term Plan