The new funding announcement by the Prime Minister is very welcome and investment in the health and social care system is badly needed. It has been a difficult time for patients: five million are waiting for treatment and the pressures on social care are intense. Although health and care chiefs have said the £12 billion a year package is still not enough money to solve the problems, this cash injection does present an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of patients and people in receipt of care.
Right now, all those in the health and care sector need to be truly patient-focused and work collaboratively to achieve the prime minister’s stated ambition to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’. The opportunity is in the hands of the new Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) which were set up to provide patient centered health and care, bringing together organisations to work together across larger geographies. This collective includes the private and third sector whose solutions can help ICSs achieve the goal of better outcomes for patients.
CHS works closely with the acute sector to provide services to help patients with efficient and timely discharge from hospital and supports colleagues in CCGs and local authorities to organise the provision of care packages, providing governance and visibility in this process with our technical innovations.
But the NHS and social care will really have to start working differently and practical things like procurement need to be resolved quickly. As organisations come together, we are seeing contract sizes for these larger populations get much bigger – often tenfold – which means that commissioning services will become more complicated.
The promised investment is an important step forward for health and social care and will breathe momentum into fixing the problems that the Prime Minister promised on the steps of Downing Street in 2019.