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Build partnerships between health and social care, NCF urges

Meaningful partnerships between health and care must be in place to meet future needs, the National Care Forum has said in a new paper issued in advance of the reopening of Parliament tomorrow (May 11).

The NCF has said that new NHS commissioning structures in England – Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and Integrated Care Partnerships – will be an important part of the landscape for social care in the years ahead. NCF CEO Vic Rayner said “It is essential that the legislation and guidance for ICSs put the voice of those that use care and those that provide it at the top table of decision making and fund this as necessary. Simply involving Local Authority and NHS commissioners is not enough, as they cannot, alone, be the voice of social care.”

The NCF paper sets out the following ambitions for reform of social care:

  •  Think social care first
  • Invest in the adult social care system and its workforce
  • Recognise the benefits of the not-for-profit sector
  • Create a fair price for care, met by the State when commissioning care on behalf of people
  • Effective integration of care, health and housing. Reform must recognise the relationship between social care and housing, where housing is a key element in sustaining the independence, choice and dignity amongst people of working age and older adults.

Key principles that underpin the recommendations in the paper include: choice of provider, co-production with service users, focus on prevention, and on people’s rights.   

Rayner said: “Social care reform will require bold commitment and investment. We need to move forward from the place of rhetoric to action.”

  • The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for proactive planning and resourcing end-of-life care. During COVID-19, place of death has shifted from acute to community settings, impacting on wellbeing and quality of life for many at the end of their lives, says a new report The state of end of life care: Building back better after Covid-19.

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