Social care proposals only a start - Royal College of Nursing
Published: 11 July 2012
Commenting on today’s (11 July) publication of the Social Care White Paper, the draft ‘Care and Support’ bill and the “progress report” on social care funding, Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter, said:
“While there is much to welcome in these proposals, nurses will be particularly disappointed that the Government has failed to tackle the critical issue of social care funding. Accepting the need for a cap on the amount individuals contribute to costs without any timescale for implementation will be cold comfort to service users and patients. It also stores up major problems for the future.
“It is nursing staff who are currently dealing with the pressures of delayed transfers between hospital and community settings, restriction on services and confusion over who pays for what. We are particularly concerned that at the moment many people face a ‘revolving door’ in care. For some this means ending up back in hospital soon after discharge as the support simply does not exist to care for them properly in the community. There is a clear need for much greater integration between health and social care settings in order to provide a better standard of care.
“We welcome the national eligibility criteria and the focus on equal access to care. The postcode lottery that currently exists is a national scandal and we know that some local authorities are increasingly restricting eligibility support to people who are assessed as having critical needs. We would like this equal access to be extended to patients and service users who receive ongoing health care in their own homes.
“Getting social care funding right is crucial, not only for the future of social care, but the NHS too. Today’s proposals are a start but much more work is needed in delivering a system that is fit for purpose.”
Notes for Editors
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