A group of the UK’s leading medical and healthcare groups have written an open letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond stating that patients will be left ‘stranded in hospitals and GP waiting rooms’ unless the social care funding gap is plugged.
The letter, which states that without extra funding for social care and public health services demand on NHS services ‘will not be manageable’, was signed by the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Public Health and Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.
The funding gap in adult care services is expected reach £3.5 billion by 2025 in England alone, according to the letter, which goes on to say:
“If services caring for older and disabled people are not properly funded, both they and our patients in primary and secondary care suffer… People who could and should be supported in the community will remain stranded in our waiting rooms and hospitals.
“This not only leads to poorer outcomes for them, it significantly reduces the resources available to treat other patients.”
Speaking to ITV News a Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “We have provided local authorities access to £9.6 billion in dedicated social care funding over the last three years.
“Our green paper due later in the year will set out our plans to reform the social care system to make it sustainable for the future.”