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Budget 2016: the impact of an underfunded social care system on the NHS

There has been a lot in the news about the recent budget and the impact on tax and benefits. As with any budget there are winners and losers and for our detailed review of the budget, please refer to our personal wealth update. What interests me however is the open letter  sent to the chancellor, George Osborne, in which 14 leading doctors requested additional funding for social care in the budget.

The representatives from each body all made the same request: “more money please”; but this was not forthcoming. We have previously spoken about the issue of delayed hospital discharge. This open letter describes the impact that an underfunded social care system will have on the NHS, reinforcing the fact that patients who are ready to be discharged are unable to leave hospital because the care and support required at home or in the community is unavailable.

The list of signatories and their professional bodies is impressive and yet there was no mention of any more funding. If these individuals and the institutions they represent are ignored, the future of integrated health and social care is in jeopardy, with the result that more frail and vulnerable people will suffer.

If you have an elderly or vulnerable relative and need advice regarding access to health or social care provision then contact Jess Flanagan.