Responding to Welsh health boards’ combined overspend of £163m at the end of this financial year Councillor Huw David (Bridgend), WLGA Spokesperson for Social Care said:
“The NHS is rightly incredibly valued by everyone in Wales, and is an institution that needs to be protected. However, the projected overspend this year by a number of the health boards is clear evidence that current funding arrangements for health and management of resources are not working as they should.
“Medical professionals have long stated that the real problem in hospitals is delays in transfer of care, which prevent acute beds from being made available for hospital admissions and treatment. If further investment in preventative services was forthcoming from government, councils would be able to adequately fund adult social care and other support services to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to deal with the demand on such services as elderly patients in particular leave hospital.
“Whilst we are grateful to Welsh Government for their recent £10m funding to deal with winter pressures in social care, it is clear that such one-off boosts are nowhere near enough to cover financial pressures. Estimates show that social care will face an additional £99m in pressures this year alone just to keep up with the demand of an ageing population needing additional support. If social care were to receive the extra long-term investment that it so sorely needs, it would help to ease the burden on the health boards by reducing delayed transfers of care and freeing up beds for hospital care.”
“Councils are proud to be working in partnership with the health boards and are keen to see the NHS thriving. We all need to ensure investment is made wisely. If we are to future-proof the NHS, it is vital that adult social care is recognised as a key partner in its success and that it receives the recognition and appropriate funding that it deserves.”
Notes for Editors
Additional £99m pressure for social care in 2018-19 is referred to in a joint ADSS and WLGA report to the National Assembly’s ‘Cost of Caring for an Ageing Population Inquiry’: http://www.wlga.wales/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=62&mid=665&fileid=1432