A plan, published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and a letter from ADASS, LGA, and SOLACE describing their priorities for future action to tackle pressures on hospitals, and surprisingly I tend to agree with both.
Unfortunately, all of this was there to be seen for many years previously, but during those years we have had un-listening Governments who, even if they had listened would not have been prepared to take the appropriate actions. So the crisis in social care and also that of the NHS were left to fester.
Many of the problems of the NHS are down to the crisis in social care, but that is not down to social care and also to the Local Authorities (LAs) who are responsible for funding social care to a large extent but the funding of LAs by the Governments, especially since 2010 with the dreaded austerity cuts imposed on LAs by the tory Governments since then have caused very serious problems. But, in reality, the funding for social care has never been fully sufficient, but the cuts from 2010 certainly added to the problems, very greatly, and not just social care, but all other services which LAs are responsible to fund. All of this is down to Governments who apparently have never been blamed.
So, yes both social care and the NHS are in dire need of substantial need of additional funding, but the funding is far too little and to a very large extent way far too late. If most of the way too little additional funding goes to the |NHS and not social care this again will be so wrong.
Both the NHS and social care are extremely short of staff, perhaps social care even more so. While there is currently, strike actions by some NHS workers for a very justifiable salary increase, the increase in pay rates for care workers could be way more justified., for care workers have never been paid sufficiently. Most are only on the National Living Wage of around £10 per hour increasing to around £11 per hour in April 2023 but in reality, the rate should be at least £15 per hour.
These increases are required now in full and not over 2 years, and these pay rates have to be sustainably increased for all the years to come. But for care workers, it is not just pay rates, but also employment terms and conditions, which include travel expenses holiday pay, and to some extent recognition of holiday entitlement sick pay, and much more.
These problems are totally at the door of the Government and need to be actioned without further delay.
It could be said that all of this can’t be afforded, and I would say it can’t be afforded not to.