The WLGA welcomes two reports published today that underline the pivotal importance of social services in the healthcare system and highlights chronic underfunding across the service. A report from the Health Foundation(1) finds that social services spending pressures are greater than the NHS in wales. A second report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC)(2) in England is, for the first time, calling for a significant additional investment in social services.
Commenting on the announcement, WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Cllr Huw David (Bridgend) said:
“We welcome the report from the Health Foundation today which clearly states what we already know in local government, that the health of the population depends on far more than just health care services. The authors state that some studies estimate that the health and wellbeing of a country’s population is far more dependent on services other than healthcare.
“We are grateful for the investment and protection that the Welsh Government has provided for social services and initiatives like the Intermediate Care Fund in the past. However, budget pressures in social care are rising by around 4% annually according to the Health Foundation, higher than the pressures faced by the NHS. The WLGA’s own figures(3) show that overall social services budgets will increase by around £90m a year up to 2019-20. Social care inflation is running as high as 6% because of the combined effect of demography and the impact of pay inflation caused by impact of the National Living Wage, especially on third party providers.
“The WLGA is not looking to rob Peter to pay Paul, we recognise the huge pressures in the NHS highlighted in today’s Health Foundation report. The key point as highlighted by the CQC is that there needs to be greater emphasis on prevention, ensuring that people are kept out of hospital particularly the elderly who research shows are far better cared for in their own homes.”
Notes to editors:
- The Health Foundation report The Path to Sustainability: Funding projections for the NHS in Wales to 2019/20 and 2030/31, can be found here
- The Care Quality Commission’s annual State of Care report can be found here
- The WLGA’s evidence to the National Assembly’s Finance Committee’s inquiry in to the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2017-18 can be found here.