Charities welcome Health Select Committee Social Care Report

16 February 2012

Charities have welcomed the findings of the House of Commons Health Select Committee Social Care Report, which recognises the huge funding gap that “needs to be addressed by the Government in its Social Care White Paper this spring

The new report calls for greater integration of the existing fragmented health and social care services. The report, which follows the Committee's inquiry into social care, also identifies the need to face the issue of the funding gap between the number of people who need care and the amount of money currently in the system.

Responding to the report, Mark Goldring, chief executive of Mencap said: “The Committee’s call for an integrated health, housing and social care system is one that Mencap has long supported. However, this will only work in practice if there is also greater integration of funding streams. In the current economic climate, efficiency and better value for the tax payer is something the government should heed.

“While the Committee has largely focused on older people, the issues raised also affect adults with life-long conditions and disabilities. People with a learning disability and their families are increasingly unable to get the support they need, as demand for social services grows while care budgets are cut. The report rightly recognises that this huge funding gap needs to be addressed by the government in its Social Care White Paper this spring.”

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society said: “This report reiterates the need for a long-overdue overhaul of the crumbling system of care. People with dementia are some of the hardest hit by existing failures. They often require health and social care - from help with everyday tasks such as washing, eating and dressing, to medication. Integrating the composite parts of the existing system is vital.

“We are delighted to see the Health Select Committee joining the call for a fairer deal for all people who need care. The best proposal of how to end the unacceptable financial burden on vulnerable people is from the Dilnot Commission; but we desperately need more money too. If we don't act now, the spiralling number of people being forced into hospital because of insufficient care threatens to bankrupt the NHS.”

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