Adass has called on the government to fulfil its ambition to shift 5% of funding on acute NHS care into community services, including social care.
The organisation, which made the comments in a draft response to the Department of Health’s commissioning framework for health and well-being, says the proposal must now be “enforced”.
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt made the call after last year’s health and social care white paper. Originally intended to benefit primary and community healthcare, care services minister Ivan Lewis has since said social care deserved a slice.
But Niall Dickson, chief executive of think-tank the King’s Fund, told the Adass spring seminar that such a move was unlikely due to the Treasury being “very sceptical” about making cuts in one public service to fund another.
He said that it preferred the “more brutal approach” of imposing cash-releasing efficiency savings on services.
He added that there was now an acceptance in government that the system for long-term care was unsustainable.
In its draft response, Adass also said that the commissioning framework was too NHS-focused and risked viewing community well-being policies as an add-on.
Last week, a coalition of bodies, including Adass, the LGA and the King’s Fund, launched a campaign for a public debate on funding long-term care. See news analysis.
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