13 October 2016
The British Red Cross has reiterated its call for the release of health and social care funds being held by the UK government, following a review from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released today.
The review showed A&E departments in England as one of the poorest-performing parts of the health care system, blaming underfunding of health and social care services as one of the main causes.
The CQC raised concerns about the sustainability of current care services in light of rising pressures on demand, cost and access.
When there are not enough quality care services available for people leaving hospital, this puts pressure on the hospitals.
If people cannot be safely discharged from hospital because of a lack of social care options to help them get back into their community, they end up having to stay in hospital despite being medically fit to go home. This is an issue that is often labelled as ‘bed-blocking’.
In turn this leads to overcrowding and impacts on the performance of front-end services such as A&E.
Colin Brown, director of independent living for the Red Cross, said: “Demands on services will continue to grow but funding is failing to keep pace.
“The government has already set aside money to be invested in health and social care, through the enhanced Better Care Fund. However, the bulk of this won’t be available for another two years.
“These funds must be released now so that services can meet the growing need and give people the safe and proper care they deserve.”