Welfare to Work

Linked Up Health/Social Care

Linked Up Health/Social Care

On May 14th 2013 the Department of Health published plans to reshape the manner in which Social Care & Health Care are delivered in this country. This policy will see the joining up of the various services that deliver health and social service in this country.  This seems to be a major concern of  both the Conservative and Labour parties. With the Labour leader Ed Milliband and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham outlining  plans to integrate health and social care services.  In fact, it may be thought that the Conservative Party have stolen some of the Labour parties fire on this issue.

David Lamb has said that;

 “It’s a crisis point really,” he said. “People not getting the support they need because different parts of the system don’t talk to each other; older people discharged from hospital to homes not adapted to their needs, only to deteriorate or fall and end up back in A&E. Cutting emergency re-admissions will bring a much better experience for patients.” http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/may/14/health-social-care-join-up-plan

The following issues have been raised concerning the disjointed nature of the NHS/Social Services;

  • People having to retell their stories to various agencies and service providers
  • People do not get the help they require when agencies, and service providers do not speak to each other.
  • Older people are discharged from hospital care before proper care provision, and home alterations can be put in place.
  • Service providers do not think about people’s other engagements when planning care visits.
  • Older people are often forced to stay in hospital longer than necessary awaiting the provision of a suitable care package. This costs the NHS £370million a year.

The government has suggested the following measures to repair this issue.

  • “An ambition to make joined-up and coordinated health and social care the norm by 2018 – with projects in every part of the country by 2015.
  • The first ever agreed definition of what people say good integrated care and support looks and feels like – this work by National Voices gives areas a clear vision to work towards.
  • New “pioneer” areas around the country appointed by September 2013 – they will be selected by a panel of experts, both national and international, who will be looking for the innovative, practical approaches needed to achieve change as quickly as possible; and
  • New measures of people’s experience of joined up care and support by the end of this year so we can start to see whether people are feeling the benefits of the change.” https://www.gov.uk/government/news/people-will-see-health-and-social-care-fully-joined-up-by-2018

Andy Burnham has welcomed the Government’s plans but has argued that;

“If the Government really wants to achieve the integration of health and social care, David Cameron needs to repeal last year’s NHS Act and stop the drive to competition and privatisation across the health service.” “The Act makes it far more difficult to achieve integration. By mandating the compulsory competitive tendering of health services, we will see more and more fragmentation occurring as services are privatised and lost to the NHS” http://www.labour.org.uk/last-years-nhs-act,2013-05-14

What do you think? Will these plans work?  What would you do?








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