Government Responds On Sustainability Of The NHS And Adult Care
The Government recently published its response to the House of Lords Select Committee on the sustainability of the NHS and adult social care. The report by the House of Lords was published back in April of 2017, and outlined how sustainability is an option provided the Government are prepared to make radical changes to services and funding.
Zena Soormally, Specialist Court of Protection Associate Solicitor, explains what the Government is proposing.
What Changes Were Suggested?
The committee's initial report suggested that the NHS and adult care was sustainable, provided long-term funding solutions were addressed. Other areas where reform was suggested were: innovation technology and productivity, public health, prevention and patient responsibility.
The Government's Response
In light of the committee's report, the Government responded by confirming its commitment to ensuring health and adult social care are made sustainable in the long term, and that NHS treatment remains free at the point of delivery.
The Government also stated that certain “efficiencies” will need to be met in order for the NHS and social care system to become sustainable in the long term. It states that more planning will be required in the way in which services are delivered in order to be more effective for patients. The Government has also made note of the need to manage high patient demand and plan in regards to achieving financial balance.
The Government is currently pushing a Green Paper regarding care and support for older people, with an aim of a summer 2018 publication. The paper sets out proposals for reforms and the best way to achieve the aforementioned long-term sustainability.
In their official release, the Government stated: "On social care – we have set out our plans to publish a green paper by the summer, and will engage with parliamentarians and other interested parties as part of that open consultation process."
In relation to the NHS the Government went onto comment that: "We are pursuing our ambition to become the safest healthcare system in the world. This includes the draft Bill published this year to establish a new independent Health Service Safety Investigation Body to take forward and embed a culture of learning within the NHS."
"Given that the majority of my clients are in receipt of services from either the NHS and/or adult social care, I see the daily impact that under-resourcing and inadequate planning on the part of the Government for the NHS and local authorities has on the very vulnerable people I assist. I, of course, welcome the Government’s comments and assertions about planning and structuring services for the future, but I am concerned that the Government must work hard to deal with the overlapping issues between the NHS and adult social care, rather than looking at either in isolation."
"There are also large areas of NHS and adult social care provision, which directly impact on my clients, which are hugely under-resourced and poorly structured, namely in cases where a person lacks capacity, and those where individuals are deprived of their liberty. We are awaiting the result of further consultations relating to deprivation of liberty reform which may, once complete, assist in some way, but I am keen to see what programmes, proposals and plans the Government puts forward in its green paper in the summer, and what the practical impact will be on our vulnerable clients."
"Invariably, the answer is that the NHS and adult social care need more money – that is unavoidable. I also think that a careful programme of training for NHS and adult social care staff as to the law, relating to capacity and deprivation of liberty, would go some way to saving both sectors money arising from failures in those areas."
How Simpson Millar Can Help You
If you currently have an issue with the way your care or the care of a loved one is being handled, contact Simpson Millar today.
Our experienced Community Care Solicitors and Court of Protection Solicitors can get the best outcome for you, and also explain all the options available to you should you feel there is a need for legal action.
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