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It’s sink or swim for our health and social care services, charities tell Government

Published on 15 June 2018 09:00 AM

The NHS, social care and public health desperately need significant funding if they are to survive. That’s the finding of a new report from The Richmond Group, a coalition of 14 charities including Age UK.

The report, Destined to ‘sink or swim together’: NHS, social care and public health, shows that funding one service in isolation can’t prop up the others, and if they aren’t all funded appropriately, they risk collapsing altogether.

Systems in crisis

This is a sobering thought. Currently, more than one in four people in England are living with a long-term health problem, and there are 3.84 million people on waiting lists for treatment as of March 2018.

Yet NHS spending grew at one of the lowest rates in its history between 2010/11 and 2014/15, and over the last seven years spending on adult social care has fallen by 8% in England.

Pressure is mounting on the NHS and social care system to meet the most urgent needs. The Richmond Group of Charities work with people, their carers and families who regularly depend on access to good health and care services. And with an estimated 4 million older people in the UK living with a longstanding illness, Age UK is determined to represent the needs of those in later life.

Funding’s needed across the board

As part of The Richmond Group, we’re calling on the Government to deliver an ambitious funding package, and to take decisive action that sets the NHS, the social care system and public health on the right path for the future together.

“We know that the only effective means of rectifying the health and social care crisis is to invest in services that support people to stay as well as possible for as long as possible,” said Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK and Chair of the Richmond Group of Charities.

“We all know the NHS is grossly underfunded but, unless we also fill the funding gaps in social care and public health, pumping money into one aspect of our health and social care system won’t make a sustainable difference. It’s a case of sink or swim together.

“Without decisive action from Government, this situation is going to go from bad to worse. As the 70th anniversary of the NHS approaches, it’s time we take this problem seriously, and work together to solve it.”

Destined to ‘sink or swim together’: NHS, social care and public health

More information

Get advice on care and support, and find out what Age UK is doing to tackle the crisis in social care by clicking the links below.

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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