interviews

24.10.18

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months, the new president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has suggested.

In an interview with NHE, Professor Andrew Goddard said that the general public “does not really understand” the inner-workings and benefits of the social care sector— despite 1.5 million care staff members working in the UK currently, and 85,000 providers of social care across the country.

On Monday a new report by NHS Providers noted that there are “clear warning signs” that the demand in the coming winter will be even worse for NHS trusts than last year, where many believed the influx in patients made it the most difficult winter on record.

Last week the RCP, alongside several other health faculties and royal colleges, addressed a letter to Philip Hammond, calling on the chancellor to use the autumn budget to invest long-term in adult social car and health services, or “risk the NHS failing to meet demands.”

Prof Goddard noted that social care is the most worrying issue on doctors’ minds currently: “The thing that most doctors are worried about is social care—there was a survey I saw presented at a conference a couple of weeks ago, and 40% of acute medicine consultants’ biggest worry was social care.

“Not having the capacity in social care to get patients out of hospital, which is a really risky environment—hospitals are not good places to be if you don’t need to be there—is one of our big challenges.

“If you talk to the emergency medicine guys, they would say if you could sort out social care then that would make their lives so much easier because it changes the flow in hospitals dramatically.

“One of the solutions to winter is much, much better social care—we tend to focus on hospitals because we can see the hospitals queuing outside, and you don’t really see ambulances queuing up outside nursing homes—it’s not quite as good a picture on the front page of the patients—but perhaps we ought to do that and focus on nursing home care.”

Prof Goddard added that the NHS has a much-beloved identity in the UK, but the general public does not always feel the same way about social care. He suggested that a dedicated social care service would help both promote the value of social care in the general public and also relieve the burden on acute care wards.

“The NHS has an identity doesn’t it, everybody says that the public loves the NHS, but people don’t really love social care in the same way,” said the RCP president, who took over from Professor Dam Jane Dacre last month.

“If there was a national social care service then that might help. There’s a such a wider disparate group. I think the public doesn’t really understand social care—it’s means tested of course, it’s not free at the point of entry, so there are challenges there.

“A national social care service would probably be a good idea. Other nations have tried to bring social care and their health service closer together, I think that’s the idea that’s been proposed with Sustainability Transformation Plans, and certainly the college and I support the move towards that. How you get a higher profile for social care and more support, that’s a challenge of our generation.”

Last week a report by the Public Accounts Committee noted that the government is still “a long way” from achieving an effective strategy for integrated health and social care.

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit: RCP

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Temporary registration granted to 11,800 doctors by GMC

27/03/2020Temporary registration granted to 11,800 doctors by GMC

Following an official request by the UK government, the General Medical Council (GMC) has granted temporary registration to 11,856 doctors who ha... more >
Matt Hancock: ‘We are more indebted than ever to NHS staff’

27/03/2020Matt Hancock: ‘We are more indebted than ever to NHS staff’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has lauded NHS staff during his response to the healthcare service’s recently released workforce statistics, ... more >
Health Education England announce new Chief Executive

26/03/2020Health Education England announce new Chief Executive

Health Education England (HEE) have announced it will appoint Dr Navina Evans as the organisation’s new Chief Executive following a rigorou... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

How to help patients manage the psychology of chronic conditions

20/03/2020How to help patients manage the psychology of chronic conditions

Indie Dhariwal, Wellbeing Facilitator at Living Well Taking Control Living with a chronic condition puts huge pressure on both the body and mind. Not only can it prevent patients from doing activities they used to enjoy, but in many cases, patients suffer psychological distress. Considering how difficult and disabling chronic conditi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental health and wellbeing. As the best rugby players in the world repr... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our... more > more last word articles >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

health service focus

Efficient respirator fit testing and infection prevention

19/03/2020Efficient respirator fit testing and infection prevention

Sponsored Content: TSI explain about respirat... more >
Tackling toxic tribalism in the healthcare service

06/03/2020Tackling toxic tribalism in the healthcare service

Richard Peachey, HPMA Regional Committee Memb... more >