Patel outlines plan to integrate health and social care
Caring Times, January 2014
HC-One chairman Dr Chai Patel has outlined a seven point framework on how to integrate social care with the NHS.
Speaking in November to senior members of the Labour Party, including shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, and leading figures from the health and social care sector, Dr Patel explained how the National Health Service could evolve so that it could continue to focus on needs and not means, while also tackling the huge challenge of effectively integrating social care into a cohesive health and care system.
Measures proposed by Dr Patel include greater public, private and third sector collaboration, the need to create incentives for people to lead healthy lifestyles and the need to attract private funding for the sector to improve services. Dr Patel also proposed taking health and social care spending out of the five year electoral cycle and creating a 10-15 year approach to financing the NHS.
Dr Patel highlighted the shortcomings of modern social care. He contrasted the continuous increase in the quality of life of people in the West with the poor quality of end of life care, remarking that “we live well but we die badly.”
“Creating an NHS accessible to all based on need and not means was a truly radical step in the 20th Century,” said Dr Patel.
“We need to build a 21st Century National Health System on these great foundations that is still accessible based on need, not means, without age discrimination.
“If we are to create a new system that provides the quality of care we need, in an affordable and sustainable way – and that does not discriminate against older people – the public, private and third sector must work together.
“Only by developing, delivering and funding collaboratively can we enable citizens to receive the right healthcare, in the right place, at the right time.”