Social care ‘is missing puzzle piece’ from long term NHS plan

On Monday, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, unveiled the long term NHS plan – a ten year plan described as a ‘blueprint to make the NHS fit for the future’ but there is little to no mention of adult social care.

The NHS plan outlines how the extra £20bn funding boost will be spent.

At the heart of the plan, there is a shift from hospitals towards GP surgeries and community care as well as better access to mental health services for adults and children.

Dementia UK welcomed the plans but stated the ‘missing puzzle piece’ from the plan was the social care green paper, which is desperately needed to ‘relieve the pressures on a struggling NHS.’

Mr Stevens said: “The NHS has been

marking its 70th anniversary, and the national debate has rightly centred on three big truths. There’s been pride in our health service’s enduring success, and in the shared social commitment it represents.

“There’s been concern – about funding, staffing, increasing inequalities and pressures from a growing and ageing population. And there’s also been legitimate optimism – about the possibilities for continuing medical advance and better outcomes of care.

“In looking ahead to the Health Service’s 80th birthday, this NHS Long Term Plan acts on all three of these realities. It keeps all that’s good about our health service and its place in our national life. It tackles head-on the pressures our staff face.

“And it sets a practical, costed, phased route map for the NHS’s priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead.”

Many charities and companies have struggled to see how a ten-year plan for the NHS could make no mention of adult social care or the promised social care which was due in the autumn – now due to be published in January.

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