The NHS could “use some of its unprecedented increases in funding to do better prevention through social care,” said Liam Byrne, care services minister today.
Urging both sectors to work together, he gave an example to illustrate his point, in a speech to social care and NHS leaders at a conference.
“If an elderly person keeps falling in their home, that is an issue that should concern both social services and the NHS. There is a cost benefit tot the NHS in providing that person with equipment to prevent them falling and the NHS should be willing to contribute financially,” said Byrne.
The minister also spoke of the need to “professionalise the social care workforce”. He called staff who provide care services the “kind-hearted, long-suffering, forgotten workers in British society.”
Byrne said current government initiatives on the social care workforce are a “tacit recognition” that NHS staff have previously been a government priority.
A full report by the Options for Excellence review board should be published in the autumn and will be a “catalyst for change within the workforce,” he added.