MPs: greater integration between health and housing needed
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Care and Support and also in Central Government, Health, Housing
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A cross party group of MPs and Peers has warned that without greater integration between health and housing, the care and support system will become unsustainable.
In a unanimous report, the group also warns the government that it has not fully thought through the implications of its social care reforms, which may leave councils open to a deluge of disputes and legal challenges.
The Committee has also called for a nationwide campaign to educate people about the need to pay for their own care.
Launching the report today, Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Draft Care & Support Bill, said: "We need care and support to be more focused on prevention and more joined up with health and housing. There is much in the government’s draft Bill to welcome; it cuts through a complex web of arcane legislation that people struggle with. But there is room for improvement.
"The government must take stock of its funding for adult care and support and think seriously about whether the transformation we all want to see can truly be delivered without greater resources."
Domini Gunn, director of health and wellbeing at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said: “Housing has a key part to play in care and support so we’re pleased to see that our evidence – and that of our colleagues across the housing industry – has been given careful consideration.
"CIH believes the housing-related recommendations in this report will strengthen the bill and help to ensure that the critical role of a safe, settled home, that meets the needs of the person needing care and support and their carers, is more fully recognised and addressed.
"However, we do have some concerns – we feel an opportunity has been missed to require housing, health and social care to jointly plan and commission services, and there should also be a requirement for housing to be fully engaged in the preparation and delivery of joint strategic needs assessments.
"We will continue to work with the Department of Health to address these issues through the guidance that will accompany the legislation.”
Responding to the Committee’s report, National Housing Federation director Gill Payne said: “We need a care system that supports people to live independently by keeping them in their community and delivering care and support in their home. Specialist and adapted housing is an integral part of local social care and health services, keeping people out of hospital and residential care. That’s why we’re pleased that the Joint Committee, which took on board a number of our recommendations, recognises this in its report.
“By working with housing associations that provide these types of homes, as well as care and support services, councils and the NHS can prevent the need for more care, ease the pressure on their budgets and free-up space in local hospitals and residential care homes. We urge the Government to adopt these proposals when the Care and Support Bill is introduced later this year.”
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