The government has unveiled new plans for the coming years to help fund health and social care across the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson outlined plans to raise National Insurance to help fund the sector and deal with the “catastrophic costs” faced by millions.
Many have long advocated a reform to the current social care system, which is seen as underfunded, understaffed and overstretched.
Greg Bamber, the Chief Executive at Care 4 Quality., responded to the announcement by stating:
“Whilst we all welcome the news of extra funding, this must arrive soon enough to support the cost of care and the wages deserved to support a better standard of care delivery, particularly within our social care system. It’s a very tough challenge the government face.
“We support large numbers of care providers to register successfully with the CQC and remain compliant in the delivery of their services. Providers are demonstrating how collaborate working with the NHS has worked extremely well to support the huge backlogs built up over the last two years. Spire Healthcare announced today their success in supporting the NHS to deliver services and this cascades down to smaller independent providers too.
“There is a large increase in the self-pay model for healthcare services where the public are choosing to pay for essential procedures previously delivered via the NHS or services historically where wait times wouldn’t have been so long. There is no doubt that the health and social care challenges are significant, greater funding and opening up the conversation around what is needed can only be a positive. It begins a process that hopefully continues to evolve into ways of our system being supported equitably by our members of our society.”
One proposal in the plan includes people no longer having to pay more than £86,000 in care costs over their lifetime.
Once people have reached this cap, the plan states that ongoing costs for personal care will be paid for by local authorities.
The 1.25% increase in National Insurance hopes to raise £12bn a year to tackle the health backlog, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, the number of patients in England waiting for routine treatment and elective surgery is at a record high of 5.5 million.
This statistic could reach 13 million by the end of 2021 if left unchecked.
Julie Walton, Head of Registrations at Care 4 Quality., said:
“It is certainly welcome news of further investment from the government in health and social care. The major challenges to providing care and treatment to a quality standard are well known. There is an opportunity now, for providers to explore and introduce innovative models of working and practices.
“It will be equally imperative that eyes are not taken off quality and safety, in a bid to meet demand and make the best use of the additional funding. We can play a role in this by keeping pace with any changes taking place, working flexibly to adapt our processes and support any innovative and new ways of working. By supporting providers in meeting quality and safety standards through compliance with health and social care regulatory requirements we can contribute and add value to services providing care.”
Tax contributions will go towards issues the NHS has faced over the last 18 months and will see NHS capacity increasing to 110% of planned activity levels by 2023/24, offering more appointments, treatments and operations.
Some critics of the Prime Minister’s new plans have expressed that the money alone doesn’t go far enough.
Dr Ghaffar, the Medical Director at Care 4 Quality., commented:
“Providing funding is an essential step towards tackling the backlog, however dealing with the ramifications of the pandemic is much more complex. With the increasing staff shortages due to illness, retirement and part-time working, recruitment of adequately skilled professionals in such a short duration will be more challenging.
“The NHS is likely to outsource contractual work to alleviate its strains and reduce waiting times as it has done so historically in secondary care for surgical treatments. The priority will be to deal with elective procedures and especially manage new cancer diagnoses and treatments.
“As a consequence, there will be further restrictions on some of the services that the NHS provides, especially for community services.”
Care 4 Quality.
As an organisation, Care 4 Quality. has seen a large increase of private providers registering services.
The new funding plans will be pivotal in meeting the backlog that the NHS faces.
We believe that collaboration between public and private services have always existed, but we need this now more than ever.