PPP calls for local government and social care to be placed on equal footing to NHS

By - Integrated Care Journal
PPP calls for local government and social care to be placed on equal footing to NHS

Ahead of the second reading of the government’s Health and Care Bill, Public Policy Projects (PPP) has launched its State of the Nation Integrated Care report: Practical action for effective integrated care systems. Produced in partnership with DevoConnect, the report outlines a series of recommendations to achieve parity between local government and the NHS and address social care with the same vigour as acute care.

The report, co-chaired by Stephen Dorrell, former Secretary of State for Health and Phil Hope, former Minister of State for Care Services, consulted with a range of key stakeholders in Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), local government, public services and across political parties.

Key recommendations of the report include:  

  • The Health and Care Bill must clarify its position on the statutory basis of the ICS Health and Care Partnership Board.

  • Joint working between the NHS and local government must reflect a genuine partnership of equals.

  • Those working in the social care sector need to be awarded with status and pay to match that of their NHS colleagues.

  • Arrangements must be made for a Social Care People Plan to match the NHS People Plan.

Commenting on the report, Phil Hope said: “Getting this balance right between treatment and prevention, between health and social care, between services in the community, integrated services and institution-based services – and getting that balance right between local freedom for local partners to work through their strong relationships together to do what they know is right and best for their communities, versus the vertical accountability to parliament.

“Getting that balance right is what we need to achieve through this legislation."

Naomi Eisenstadt, Independent Chair of Northamptonshire ICS remarked: “The NHS and local government in most areas are the largest single employers, particularly in poorer areas. So their attention to apprenticeships, their attention to paying a living wage and their attention to parity of wages is enormously important. ” 

Eisenstandt went on to call for greater focus on health inequalities. Speaking at PPP’s launch event, she said: “I’m very disappointed that it seems to me that if we move from the NHS England paper that was published in November and then the white paper published in February to the ill itself, the stress on inequalities has weakened from paper to paper."

Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair of Norfolk and Waveney ICS, also spoke at this morning’s launch event. She said: “If we are to achieve the ambition of integrating care, then we have to have a national plan for social care.

“We have to have a funding settlement for social care and we very badly need a single pay scale, certainly for entry and up to middle management jobs. It is really shocking that a health care assistant or a qualified nurse is on a different pay scale, doing the same job essentially in a care setting or within the NHS. ”

Matthew Stickland, Director of Strategy and Communications at clinical software specialist company TPP commented: “If we’re genuinely going to have the ambition of patients only telling their story once as they moved across the NHS and social care, we need to make sure that the data flows with the patients.

“And if we want to be able to follow the clinical pathway and make the experience for consumers and patients as seamless as we can, then we can’t have a situation where we’ve got either antiquated systems or hardware that simply doesn’t work in some settings. Raising digital maturity has to have those benefits and translate to achieving a target that we want to do as a health and care system."

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