There has been a widespread welcome for the House of Commons Health Select Committee’s view that there are no opportunities for significant further savings in social care.
The committee’s chair, Dr Sarah Wollaston, said: “Increasing numbers of people with genuine social care needs are no longer receiving the care they need because of a lack of funding. This not only causes considerable distress to these individuals and their families but results in additional costs to the NHS. We are concerned about the effect of additional funding streams for social care not arriving until later in the Parliament.”
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “The findings demonstrate very clearly that people are not getting the care that they need and this needs to be tackled with immediate action.
“One of the committee’s key recommendations is that the Government urgently assesses and sets out publicly the additional costs to the NHS as a result of delayed transfers of care, and the wider costs to the NHS associated with pressures on adult social care budgets more generally. Care England is very supportive of this recommendation and hopes that the committee will hold the government to account by ensuring that the assessment is accompanied by a plan for adult social care which demonstrates that it is addressing the situation in social care and dealing with its effect on health services”.
Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said: “In a generally guarded report, what stands out is the Health Committee’s statement that cuts to social care funding have ‘exhausted the capacity’ for further efficiencies and increasing numbers of people are no longer receiving the care they need, resulting not only in distress for those people but also extra cost for the NHS.
“This is a frankly damning indictment of the state of care and support for hundreds of thousands of elderly and disabled people, and the new government must take urgent steps to arrest it rather than wait for promised new cash to arrive in 2018.”