Our view at FCC is that this levy is a step forward in terms of funding but does not mean that the fundamental problems facing social care will be fixed. Greg Allen, FCC CEO
In recent days and weeks, commentary and analysis has increased exponentially about funding for health and social care. I’ve also been writing about the specific opportunity and challenge around the funding of technology for both health and social care. Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced his proposals for increasing the level of National Insurance in relation to the funding of social care and the elective backlog in the NHS.
At Future Care Capital (FCC) we certainly welcome the affirmative action from The Government. In recent months, we joined Care Support Alliance (CSA) member colleagues in the #KeepYourPromiseBoris campaign.
Our FCC vision is for a fit for purpose health and care system in the future. Note – this is health and social care. These are two sides of the same coin.
Will yesterday’s announcement enable social care reform, long term? Or is it a temporary fix for issues in the NHS arising from the pandemic?
Our view at FCC is that this levy is a step forward in terms of funding but does not mean that the fundamental problems facing social care will be fixed. There is a significant gap in workforce capacity and training, for example- plus caseload management pressures and retention of staff over the long term. So, in relation to our FCC vision, will the money that becomes available to social care actually be spent or be enough, even, to address problems which will be felt by the people that need to benefit from the social care system?
Furthermore, we welcome investment in innovation and technology in health and the £250 million allocated to Elective Recovery Technology. But we are disappointed to see no similar investment mentioned in relation to social care. Healthcare technology offers excellent opportunities to improve outcomes, but there is a major shortfall in addressing backlogs in care, notably mental health, learning disability and those needing care in their own homes. While acknowledged to be part of care, we don’t see any specific plans or allocation of funds to address issues facing these groups.
Looking to the future, the expected payoff is in three years. But there is a huge amount that could change in the interim. Costs could spiral further, and the short-term fix may only cover a tiny portion of what is actually needed. How is the longer-term sustainability of the system going to be addressed through this and other funding?
On balance, we are pleased to see that the Prime Minister has taken action, but we want to see real and appropriate long-term funding that transforms care delivery in a sustainable way.