The need for integration of health and social care was further highlighted in a report by the Health Select Committee, released today (Wednesday 12 February 2014).
The report, which focused on the NHS' need to achieve 4 per cent year-on-year efficiency savings, found that while savings have been made, there has been little progress in terms of transformative change needed to ensure sustainability and the ability to meet an increase in demand.
The report by the House of Commons Health Select Committee, entitled 'Public expenditure on health and social care', recognised that health care is better funded than social care. It also noted that social care authorities are facing reduced budgets and rising demand.
The Committee realises that improved integration requires a switch in funding from health services, particularly those in the acute sector, towards community-based services and social care - but this needs to be achieved without destabilising existing services.
George McNamara, Alzheimer's Society Head of Policy and Public Affairs, comments:
'It has long been recognised that health and social care must be better integrated, but recognition is one thing and delivering much needed change is another.
'Many people with dementia rely as much on social care as they do on the NHS, and local authority cuts are making their lives harder. Better care and support packages to help people remain in the community and in their own homes for as long as possible can’t come soon enough.'