Call for action amid care cuts
Published on 08 February 2012 12:00 PM
MPs have called for a 'joined-up' approach to services in a bid to improve the welfare of older people.
A report from the health select committee said that elderly care, health and housing services should be linked up to stop patients being 'passed like a parcel' across departments.
It added that action is more urgent than ever amid a growing demand on such services along with an efficiency challenge prompted by cuts to public spending as the Government looks to reduce the nation's debt.
The report warned that older people are suffering a 'diminished quality of life' because of these pressures on social care funding.
The committee, led by chairman Stephen Dorrell, warned that a failure to overhaul the system could lead to more hospital admissions, later discharge and poorer outcomes for patients. It could also prevent NHS trusts from meeting the targets set by the Government.
Age UK Charity Director General Michelle Mitchell said: 'This report is very important because it not only sets out a compelling case for change, it also shows how to bring about the much improved social care system we all want to see.
'The Government should act urgently on its findings and implement the Dilnot funding reforms, update social care law, and put in place the incentives the committee proposes to bring health and social care much closer together. I am sure the committee is right to say all three actions are necessary, not either or, and that together they can transform social care and begin to bridge the gap in terms of need.
'This report also sets a great example to the senior politicians now involved in cross-party talks on funding reform: if their colleagues on the select committee can reach cross-party agreement in the best interests of the millions who depend on high quality social care, I am confident they can do so too.'
Copyright Press Association 2012