Until gov't addresses the crisis in social care the success of the NHS plan will be severely limited - Independent Age

Posted On: 
7th January 2019

The NHS long-term plan must clearly set out the necessary funding and reforms to ensure older people can live healthier lives for longer, says George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age.

One of the biggest health challenges we face today is how best to care for an ageing population. Tragically, some of the most vulnerable older people are having to wait too long to see a doctor, with increasing waiting times for operations and other healthcare, and many are marooned in hospital due to an absence of suitable social care in the community. Put bluntly, too many older people are not getting the healthcare they want and need in later life.

The NHS long-term plan must clearly set out the necessary funding and reforms to ensure older people can live healthier lives for longer. It is absolutely right to focus on prevention, but until the government addresses the crisis in social care the success of the NHS plan will be severely limited. Health and social care go hand-in-hand. Failure to do both will put the sustainability of one of our national treasures at risk and push more older people into crisis, putting avoidable pressures on an already stretched NHS.