In a bid to help support the Social Care sector, new Prime Minister (“PM”) Liz Truss has announced plans to use the budget which has previously been allocated to the NHS.
According to experts, the PM plans to divert £13 billion intended for the NHS to help resolve the COVID-19 backlog and instead give it to the Social Care sector.
According to the PM, NHS workers have told her that the problem with the NHS is the, “number of layers in the organisation they have to go through to get things done, the lack of local decision-making” and that it is not funding which is the issue.
In fact, the £13 billion that the PM intends to give to the Social Care sector was set to be raised from the increases in national insurance contributions and then would eventually be shifted to the Social Care sector once the NHS has been able to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, while healthcare experts and sector leaders agree that the Social Care sector is in desperate need of funding, many do not agree that the solution is to ‘rob’ the NHS. Richard Murray, the Chief Executive of the King’s Fund, has commended the new PM for paying attention to social care, but he does not agree that the way to do it is by removing funding from the NHS.
Similarly, Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, has agreed that the Social Care sector needs the funding and that this support would have a knock on effect in reducing the NHS backlogs. However, he, like many other sector leaders, does not believe that this should come at the expense of funding to the NHS.
It seems that the Government is still at a loss for how to balance the funding crisis that both the NHS and Social Care Sector are experiencing.