The Robbing Peter Principle
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Social care has ever been the poor relation of the NHS and if close to half of the NHS trusts in England have their way, that isn’t going to change any time soon.
Last week it was reported in The Guardian that 80 NHS trusts in England have written to local authorities claiming they are eligible for an 80% discount on business rates through a loophole in the tax system. The discount would be worth an estimated £250m a year, but the trusts also want it backdated for six years, meaning the government and local authorities, who share business rate revenues, could have to pay £1.5bn.
Both sides are taking legal advice so we can be sure that a sizeable chunk of money that might have been spent on health or social care is now being trousered by corporate lawyers.
The logic of the NHS trusts who initiated this has to be questioned – I choose to see it this way; the trusts want money from local authorities to help fund the care of elderly people occupying acute beds in hospitals, because they can’t arrange appropriate discharge placements, because local authorities don’t have the funds to provide them.
It’s very hard to take all the fine words about health and social care integration seriously when this sort of thing is going on.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.