RCN: More action needed for draft bill success
Published: 19 October 2012
The Royal College of Nursing has warned the success of the draft Care and Support Bill depends on critical factors not yet addressed, such as funding.
The draft bill introduces the proposal for a single law for adult care and support in England.
In its response the RCN welcomes the focus on creating a preventive social care system, the duty on local authorities to promote the wellbeing of individuals, and the recognition of the importance of better information and support for patients and service users.
The RCN has also welcomed the establishment of national eligibility criteria for social care but has called for a review of "continuing healthcare criteria", to improve consistency.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter has said that much more needs to be done to deliver a system that is fit for the future.
“Getting social care funding right is crucial,” he said. “We would urge a clear timescale for implementation for a cap on the amount individuals must contribute. We know of patients and their families facing huge financial burdens because of the cost of covering unexpected social care needs.”
The RCN has welcomed the establishment of the new Health Education England (HEE) body, which will have national oversight of education and training in England, but warns the legislation must be strengthened to ensure that there is a long-term, sustainable approach to workforce planning.
The RCN’s response to the draft bill highlights a number of other concerns including:
- the failure to commit to social care funding reform
- a clear need for much greater integration between health and social care settings in order to provide a better standard of care
- the Nicholson challenge to save £20billion in the NHS in England is leaving teams short of staff, hindering their effectiveness
- the NHS reforms are proving to be an unwelcome distraction from focussing on integrated working.