Charities Urge Review on Health and Social Care

Fourteen major charities have indicated that it is vital for the government to take action on health and social care.

Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie are among the major charitable organisations who want an independent commission to be set up in order to review the existing system.

David Cameron has been particularly targeted, with the groups signing a letter to the Prime Minister.

The language used in the letter is rather strong, with the charity suggesting that the NHS may not be fit for purpose in these areas.

Although the Department of Health has indicated that £10 billion will be invested in the NHS during the existing parliament, it is suggested by these raft of charitable organisations that this will be insufficient to deal with the health and social care problems.

In particular, the greater population which has been highlighted by this website on numerous occasions, is considered to be a major issue by the charities involved.

The letter highlights figures, indeed provided by the government itself, which indicates that nearly a quarter of the population will be over at the age of 65 in just 20 years’ time.

Thus, the letter addressed to Cameron outlines that bold and decisive action must be taken in the short to medium-term.

“We need to ensure we have an NHS and social care system that is fit for purpose otherwise it is the elderly, disabled people and their carers who will bear the brunt of inaction. Bold long-term thinking is required about the size, shape and scope of services we want the NHS and social care to provide – and an honest debate about how much as a society we are prepared to pay for them.”

The letter continues by suggesting that significant funding increases are needed in the social care system.

“It is vital that you meet the challenge posed by an ageing society, and an underfunded care system, head on and establish a cross-party commission to review the future of health and social care in England.”

The letter also highlights the frequently proffered opinion of experts and analysts that there will be a £30 billion gap in funding in the NHS by the end of the decade.

Although the government has pledged extra monies for the NHS, it is largely intending to plug this gap via efficiency savings.

Increasingly, as numerous credible sources lineup to question Government policy on the NHS, it seems impossible to believe that the government’s plans will be sufficient.

Commenting on the issue, David Sinclair, director of the International Longevity Centre think tank, urged immediate action.

“We need to start talking now, honestly and openly, about what standards of health and care older people can expect now and in the future.”

A Department of Health spokesman was keen to emphasise the investment made by the existing government.

“Since 2010, we have employed 10,100 extra doctors and 8,500 extra nurses and by 2020 the NHS will be a truly seven-day service offering the same world-class care every day of the week.”

 

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