Two stories caught our eyes over the weekend; the first shows that so-called ‘bed-blocking’, where an NHS hospital is unable to discharge a patient back into the community because of a lack of social care provision, is at its highest rate since 2017.

The second says that funding cuts to the social care sector are leading to two care homes closing for every 1 home that opens. Thus leading to the risk of a two-tier social care system which only the rich can afford. Clearly, these two stories have a link. Moreover, they’re affecting both the NHS, the social care sector and the people that rely on both.

We have written in the past calling upon the Government to do everything that it can to ensure that the NHS is properly funded and is receiving all the support it needs. So there is clearly an effect that an underfunded social care sector has on the NHS. Accordingly, we would extend this appeal to also include the social care sector as well.

NHS/social care for all, not just the affluent

Everyone in society can need more support as they get older, not just the rich. In fact, multiple studies have shown the disparities that exist in terms of life expectancy between those in the least and most deprived areas of the country. Therefore, it’s vital that we have a robust social care sector in place that both rich and poor can access.

By ensuring a robust social care system is in place, it also alleviates the pressure on the NHS. As a result, it frees up beds for those who sorely need inpatient care.

Indeed, we understand that there isn’t an endless pot of money to fund the NHS and the social care sector. But investing money into both systems now when it needs it is critical. We would argue it would hopefully help to prevent a situation where even greater sums of money require investment. At that point, it would be an overhaul of the systems at a later date.