A ruler isn’t a magic wand
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Writing in The Guardian last week, Care Quality Commission chief executive David Behan said too many people were being failed by the ongoing disconnection between health and social care – https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2016/jul/14/joined-up-health-and-care-david-behan
Mr Behan tells it like it is: he acknowledges the Government’s stated desire to integrate the health and social care systems but says there is too much of a gap between this ambition and the experiences of people using services.
There is one thing he said, however, that raised my eyebrow: “It’s time to create a way of measuring integrated care.” I know that by measuring something one can show it to be inadequate, but the act of measurement does nothing of itself to improve a situation. And recent governments have shown themselves to be very resilient to being beaten on the head with a measuring stick, viz. social care funding and the appallingly poor access to health services for care home residents with dementia – all well-documented and quantified.
Were there to be a consultation on ‘how do we measure health and social care integration?’ I would suggest that the time elderly people spent in limbo in a community hospital, waiting for health and social care to begin delivering an appropriate care package, would be a useful index.
But measurement aside, an integrated health and social care system will only happen when we have a truly integrated health and social care budget. I believe that this could only be done by a fundamental dismantling and reconfiguring of the present administrative structure, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.