Poor funding threat to care integration

Integration between health and social services
is improving and both are better regulated now than they were
before, according to a report from the King’s Fund.

However, the report suggests that progress
could still be seriously impeded by “acute shortages” of funds for
social care.

Five-Year Health Check concludes that the
government has failed to establish a fair and sustainable system
for funding long-term care and that while some anomalies have been
removed from the system, new problems may be created in their

The whole system of care services is better
integrated than in 1997, with far fewer outbreaks of “turf wars”
and more evidence of health and social care staff routinely working
together to plan, develop and provide services.

But “serious problems remain”, says the
report, as gaps and pressure points in the system result in users
and carers not receiving timely and appropriate support, and the
funding of long-term care looks set to continue to be a

Efforts to safeguard and improve the quality
of care look much more promising provided that steps are taken to
create a more coherent regulatory system across health and social
care. But there is “a great risk” that the whole venture will be
undermined by a failure to invest more in social care.

– Five-Year Health Check from the King’s Fund
on 020 7307 2591.

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