The Future of Health and Social Care
Is it affordable?
There has been a considerable amount of concern expressed by clinicians in the UK about the need to make changes to the current social care system. Recently, a letter written by a group of senior health figures, including the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the president of the Royal College of Physicians and the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners argued that the current social care system was near collapse. They pointed out that, the promised green paper that would set out how social care would be funded has been delayed several times. According to Age UK, since 2017 when the paper was announced, over 600,000 elderly people have been refused care by their council and over 7,000 have lost their homes and any savings to pay for it.
Financial crises in the UK health and social care system are nothing new. Regardless of who was in charge, there were always means of addressing funding issues usually through increased funding, that is until now. This is not something that has come out of the blue. In the 1990s, when the consultancy I worked for asked hospital CEOs what their main concerns were in providing quality hospital services, the increasing numbers of older people with long term illnesses was always high on their list.