[A brief reference to this item appears in: Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 3, October 2012].
In this briefing report entitled “Papering Over the Cracks” the NHS Confederation has issued a warning about the £2 billion gap in long-term social care funding. A failure to resolve the problems could impact on services to patients.
Demand for both NHS and social care services is increasing rapidly, due to growing ageing population and an increasing number of people living with long-term care needs. It is estimated that over 820,000 people could be living with dementia in the UK. Funding is not keeping pace with demand. The population of over-65s is expected to rise by 50% over the next 20 years. The number of people with dementia is likely to more than double to 1.7 million by 2050.
The NHS Confederation analyses the underlying demographic and financial trends in social care, assesses their likely impact on the NHS, and proposes some solutions. The NHS Confederation’s recommendations for proper solution for the funding of social care involve:
- The Treasury should allocate funds to implement the Dilnot Commission’s proposals for a long-term solution, estimated to be £2.2 billion per year.
- Consensus is required from politicians, the Government, the NHS and local authorities about the scale of the problem and the costs.
- Short-term funding solutions should permit investment in services which save money, instead of “bailing out” deficits.
- A redoubling of efforts to implement integrated care.
NHS Confederation (2012). Papering over the cracks: the impact of social care funding on the NHS. London: NHS Confederation, September 2012. Briefing Number 248.