GPs likely to be sceptical about NHS funding of social care

A GP leader has warned that government calls yesterday for NHS funding of social care should not be motivated by a desire to “bail out social services”.

Dr James Kingsland, chair of the National Association of Primary Care, which represents practices, said the proposals would have a mixed reception from GPs.

He added: “I think if it was perceived that this was a short-term fix to bail out social care it will be doomed to fail.”

However, he said that if it was used to invest in improving people’s well-being then it could succeed and win support from practices.

The proposal, which encourages GPs and primary care trusts to invest in non-health services including respite care and advocacy, was issued in a commissioning framework for health and well-being.

Kingsland added that GPs had commissioned social care using the practice budgets they were given under the fundholding system, which was abolished in 1999.

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