Providers respond to Jeremy Hunt’s “warm words”

Healthcare sector providers have urged ministers to go beyond “warm words” and to renew government thinking on social care reform.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: “Warm words are always welcome but let us hope this speech represents new thinking in a government.  Aspirations are not enough – we need a new settlement for both heath and care which reflects the reality of the current crisis and the enormous challenges ahead. A settlement that covers both funding and reform.”

In June at its annual conference, the NHS Confederation will unveil a report of a study into the funding needs of the UK’s health and care systems for the next 15 years.

Mr Dickson said: “We are expecting too much from too little. And we accept money is not enough. It is essential that NHS and social care systems operate as one and that needs reform. There are practical obstacles in governance, contracting, funding and data-sharing which prevent effective integrated working. The green paper and a wider settlement for health and care must address these urgent issues as well.”

Giving the patient’s view, Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society chief executive, said: “Jeremy Hunt’s seven principles must not be wishful thinking for those impoverished by having dementia. The Government must now commit the funding to make good on these principles.

“Without the necessary funding, vulnerable people will continue to struggle needlessly. By 2021, a million people in the UK will have dementia, and we need urgent action to create a system that can meet that challenge.

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