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Government must address social care funding, say NHS leaders

Social care cuts directly affecting patients, conference told

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 03 June 2015

For the NHS to be successful, the Government must be honest with the public about the need for service change and address the funding issues in social care. 

That is the view of NHS leaders in response to a major survey commissioned by the NHS Confederation. The survey found that 90% of NHS leaders believe social care cuts are directly affecting patient care in their organisations. 

Chief executive Rob Webster will today tell delegates at the NHS Confederation annual conference, which opened today in Liverpool, that this period following the election is the time to address the headline messages resulting from the survey.

The survey underlines that local leaders can only address the challenges facing the NHS if they have the political support, if national bodies improve the way they work together, and crucially, if there is significantly better support for social care and mental health services. 

"The NHS continues to deliver high quality care in very challenging circumstances. Over the last five years rising demand has been relentless and funding limited. This has required unprecedented levels of efficiency, with almost £19 billion saved by the NHS during this period,” he will tell conference.

Adding: "Over the course of our conference, we have the opportunity to galvanise the NHS and care system behind the Five Year Forward View and to build confidence in the future. That will require the right contribution from politicians, national bodies and front line leaders across the system.

“The conference will see us agree how we accelerate from talking about change to delivering real and meaningful changes to the way care is delivered. With the election out of the way, this will require a focus on the workforce, on prevention, on the role of innovation and new models of care. It will mean new relationships across sectors and with the public - as well as using the money well - if we are to forge a better future.”

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