Winter pressures have presented a challenge for health professionals across the National Health Service and social care sector. Their hard work and dedication is second to none. We can learn a great deal from the challenges faced over the last few months and get a strong indication about what needs to change.
Future Care Capital has launched at an important time in the debate about what our health and care system should look like in the future.
At a local level councils have, or are just about to, announce their budget for the next financial year. Although the Communities Secretary announced that local authorities can raise council tax by 3% a year for the next two years to help fund social care, councils have been calling for more support.
Nationally, the government has said it is looking at a long-term and sustainable package of measures to manage adult social care. Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, has said that pressures on the health service must no longer be looked at in isolation. He wants a new national consensus around a social contract for older people.
An aging population presents the government, public, private and charitable sectors with a real chance to address the way services are delivered in the future. We agree with the House of Commons Health Select Committee that a cross-party consensus to deliver better outcomes for patients and those individuals in receipt of care should be a priority.
We have just launched a vision for the health and care system in 2030. Unification of the system is one of our primary focuses. By getting health and care providers working more closely with all generations in a community there is an opportunity to deliver greater collective wellbeing in society.
Our vision is also underpinned by a care covenant, a new agreement between the state and public, which spells out a commitment to support the health and care needs of everyone throughout their life. We look forward to developing the care covenant over the months ahead.
The covenant is only one step in the right direction. We also talk about the need to support a greater sense of shared responsibility, where the public assumes a greater role in shaping collective wellbeing. This will require targeted education to inform public attitudes and increase resilience towards health issues, mental and physical.
Designing a new health and care system should involve the public, and widely. That is why we have developed a crowdsourcing platform on our website. It is a route for people to express their views, debate what priorities they want to see investment in and come up with new ideas on how to do things differently based on their experience. Only by securing the buy-in of the public can politicians truly deliver health and care services that meet the needs of all generations in our society.