Back in Manchester
12/07/2013 Leave a comment
Wednesday I was back in Manchester at the National Housing Federation (NHF) conference called ‘Rethink Refocus’- Care and Support representing the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board speaking and chairing a session entitled ‘Do we need to spend more time expanding our role in social care, and less time talking about supporting people?’.
I was joined on the platform by Patricia Kearney, Director of Innovation and Development, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Mike Lawlor Regional Manager, Riverside. Clearly from the questions from the floor after our presentations there was a concern that in all the cuts and removal of ring-fencing firstly the monies will be diverted to other services and that whilst the big issue group, an ageing population, will get focus other vital more specialist but hidden supporting people work around supporting those with mental health or drug and alcohol issues.
I said that “clearly the prime concern of our government was the rising cost of the NHS as it consumed a 6th of the national spend. The primary cause of this is our ageing population and so I think from the conference speech last week across the road at the Manchester Central by Jeremy Hunt, the £3.4billion announced by the Chancellor couple of weeks back to be ring-fenced for social care and in a more private meeting with Norman Lamb they collectively grasped the need to put money into preventative services to keep older people from going to hospital in the first place and to then get then out quicker which is good for the older person and for the NHS budgets, but yes if the focus is on this area there is a danger other services will suffer, so you have to be advocates for those other services.”
The rest of the conference was a really interest mix of social care, health and housing. The reason I agreed to travel so far and attend and speak was that this triangle of Housing the NHS and Social Care support are the cornerstone of how we delivery better outcomes for our communities. Get it right and in this area we should be able to provide better, more person focused support and health care along with better life enhancing housing.
All for less money, it is achievable? – Debatable but it’s certainly challenging.