NHS and social care must integrate, says Burnham
Caring Times, July/August 2013
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham told the Health+Care conference today that the NHS must integrate health and social care in order to meet the challenges of the future.
Speaking to an audience of GPS, Clinical Commissioners and carers, Mr Burnham said that the NHS needs to refocus and treat the whole person. This would be achieved by combining physical, mental and social health issues. He highlighted that he would work with the current CCGs and health boards to achieve this aim.
Mr Burnham told the conference about his personal frustrations dealing with the current system when his grandmother needed care.
He argued that the current coalition is cutting social care, which he said is a “false economy” as the problem is simply pushed on to the NHS. This would affect everyone in the 21st Century, which Mr Burnham said will be known as “the Century of the Ageing population”.
Harking back to the reasons the NHS was first founded in the 20th Century, Mr Burnham said, a reason for existence today will be the fear of getting old.
The challenge of dealing with an ageing population had been a key theme throughout the day. Speakers including State dementia Tsar Professor Alistair Burns, Minister of State Norman Lamb MP and the ECCA’s Martin Green highlighted their recommendations for solving the challenge.