Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to today’s 70th anniversary of the NHS.
“The NHS deserves recognition for its essential and sustained contribution to our society, helping to save countless lives and carry out endless operations every day of the year for the past 70 years.
“To help the health service make its extra funding go further, it is essential that equal funding priority is given to public health, adult social care and prevention work all carried out by councils, with a similar, significant long-term cash settlement.
“To prevent crises in the NHS and ensure it celebrates its 100th birthday in good health, government needs to plug the £3.5 billion funding gap facing adult social care by 2025 and reverse the £600 million in reductions to councils’ public health grants between 2015/16 and 2019/20.
“But funding alone is not sufficient. We need to stop focusing on the symptoms of system pressures, such as growing demand on our hospitals, and instead tackle their root causes through councils’ prevention work in our communities which will reduce demands on the NHS and save money to the public purse.
“It was hugely disappointing that the Government postponed its green paper until the autumn, but we cannot wait until then before having a proper public debate on how to secure the crucial support for people to live their lives outside hospital.
“This is why the LGA will be publishing its own green paper on adult social care next month, to help stimulate a debate on how to fund the care we want to see in all our communities up and down the country in both the short and long term, for adults of all ages.”