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NHS Blueprint Welcomed – Now Long-Term Plan for Social Care Needed

Plans unveiled today to deliver a NHS plan fit for the future with a focus on more integrated community care, saving more lives and promoting the use of digital technology has been welcomed by Staffordshire County Council’s health chief.

Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, said it was important that the new long-term plan focused on early intervention and prevention – with a guarantee for the first time in the 70 years of the NHS that “investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget.”

Alan said:

In Staffordshire, health and social care partners have been working hard to deliver more integrated care, which helps see more people supported in their communities through prevention, early intervention and after care support and less people admitted to or kept in hospital longer than they need to be.

This is not only better for people, but if we get this right it also eases the huge pressures on the NHS in turn and in the long-run is both more affordable and sustainable for caring for a growing ageing population in particular.

We want to see people lead more healthy, active and independent lives for as long as possible and I am pleased that the Government has placed integrated community care at the core of this long term plan.

I also welcome greater emphasis on a digital approach, which is something we are already very much promoting across our council services, and is what many people with busy lives would prefer today.”

As part of the long-term plan, the Government confirmed a £4.5 billion new service model for the 21st century across England, where health bodies come together to provide better, joined up care in partnership with local government.

The Government has already also pledged it will publish its Green Paper on Adult Social Care in early 2019.

Alan added:

If we want to deliver a long-term sustainable health service then how we fund social care as a nation must go hand in with this. In Staffordshire, as in other parts of the country, we have seen our care bill soar by more than £100m in the last decade and together with partners we continue to press the Government for a long term solution.

The Green Paper will present an opportunity to do this and it is an issue which must be tackled urgently for this new blueprint for the NHS to truly succeed.”