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14th March 2016

Doctors in England call on Chancellor for better funding of social care system ahead of budget

Fourteen doctors' leaders have written to George Osborne asking for further funding for social care in England in next week's Budget.

In a letter to the chancellor, they said cuts in social care funding were putting real pressure on the NHS. And they said investing in social care was "vital to the success of the NHS".

CFW chair, Mario Kreft, said: “We wholeheartedly support the message of the doctors in England who are saying that health and social care are two sides of the same coin. It’s something CFW has been saying here in Wales and lobbying the Welsh Government on since it was set up in 1993.

“Delayed transfers of care cost the NHS time and money," he added, "but unless social care is funded properly there won’t be the places available for older people to be able to leave hospital and free up beds for others who need them. Properly funding social care can also help avoid older people having to go into hospital in the first place.”

The UK government said it was already giving local authorities access to up to £3.5bn of new funding for adult social care by 2019-20.

The signatories to the letter are led by Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and include the leaders of a number of royal medical colleges and societies.

Health and social care 'two sides of same coin' say doctors

In their letter to the chancellor, they describe health and social care as "two sides of the same coin".

The letter describes the impact of an underfunded social care system on the NHS in England, saying patients fit to be discharged are unable to leave hospital because social support is unavailable at home.

This increases the likelihood of infections and falls, they write.

The knock-on effect is that beds are blocked to new patients, they continue, "leading to cancelled appointments and operations".

"This impacts on our ability to provide timely treatment and meet treatment targets, risking patient wellbeing, and is ultimately detrimental to the economy through delayed returns to work," they wrote.

The doctors also said the plans for social care funding contained in the comprehensive spending review "will not suffice".

Read the full story

BBC News: Doctors urge chancellor to increase social care funding

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