There is growing evidence of an urgent need for more money for the health and care system. Trust deficits, growing waiting times and service reductions are some of the key signs that the system is overstretched and that this is having an adverse impact on patients and those who rely on services. It is vital this is addressed in the Autumn Statement if we are to achieve a sustainable, effective and equitable service.
However, additional funding should not be aimed simply at plugging gaps in the existing system. More staff, and more equipment, will not address the fact that models of care have not kept up with the changing needs of the population. We urgently need to move to a new way of providing supportive care, in people’s homes and communities. Health is not just about the NHS – it is about wellbeing, and how people are supported to live healthy lives.
The things that people most need to stay well are the things that are most under-resourced now: preventive support, better conversations in primary care, support to manage conditions successfully, community-based interventions which address the whole person, and care provided at home.
Investing in the health and wellbeing of millions of people should be considered as important as investing in transport infrastructure. It will bring long term savings and boost productivity, and requires an holistic approach: investment not only in the NHS but also in social care, public health and the voluntary sector.
As members of National Voices we urge the government to address these issues in a refreshed settlement for health and care, ensuring social care, public health and the voluntary and community sector get real new investment.