3 billion of NHS budget to be put towards integrating health and social care
2nd July 2013
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
It is hoped that £3 billion will be set aside by the NHS to be put towards working with local councils to integrate health and social care in 2015-16.
Chancellor George Osborne's latest spending review has granted the NHS a 0.1% increase in budget to £110.4 billion in 2015-16, but the review also says that £3 billion of this should be spent on working together with local government bodies to provide people with an integrated health and social care system.
Currently, the two sectors have drifted apart due to budget constraints, and this breakdown in communication has meant that people are not getting the care they need, older people in particular. It has also been revealed that a hospital bed costs £250 per day, whilst a week in a care home is just over £500 a week. Home help costs even less than this, and there is hope that a great deal of this budget will be spent on making sure that people are able to take care of themselves independently in the future.
People over 60 who have mobility aids such as stairlifts and ramps installed in their home are currently entitled to a reduced tax rate. This means that living independently in a safe and comfortable home has become affordable for many more people, but perhaps the introduction of more or bigger tax incentives on mobility showers and other aids that support independent living will help a greater proportion of people live comfortably in their own homes, improving their quality of life and also putting less pressure on the NHS.
The latest budget news has been welcomed by many, and Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association, has said that the plans outlined by George Osborne are a "positive, practical move" towards providing services that keep people living independently and not in hospital. He went on to say that it will ultimately "improve the quality of care" that people can expect in the UK, as well as saving taxpayers money in the long term.
The idea behind this £3 billion budget allocation is that accidents and events that lead up to the hospitalisation of older people will be prevented before they happen, with an integrated health and social care system meaning that there will be fewer delays in people getting the help that they need and fewer people getting lost in "the cracks" that exist between the two systems.
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