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By Debbie le Quesne

Community caring: A new voice in the chorus of change

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Domiciliary care agencies have been saying it for years, and now the NHS Confederation is adding to the chorus.

GP and community services should receive a higher proportion of NHS spend to enable more care to be carried outside hospital, says the Confederation chief.

Mike Farrar said in his New Year message that he would like to see ‘more investment in primary, community, mental health and social care services as a proportion of the total spend’.

And wouldn’t we all?

An article in PULSE online reported him as saying: ‘For instance, untreated mental illness costs the NHS over £10billion in physical healthcare costs every year. And delayed transfers in care – often a result of the right support not being in place – currently cost the NHS £545,000 per day (approximately £200 million per year).

I never realized so much money was being wasted this way.

He adds: ‘Increasing money in these areas will help keep people out of hospital and leading independent lives, accessing care in their own homes, or closer to home.’

And no doubt that some of that cash could be spent by social services commissioning on private sector community care. Like those running care home businesses, rates for the job are currently diabolically poor.

Mr Farrar also called on clinicians to ‘provide a better explanation of “safe and effective cases for change” that will improve the quality of local services’ and support ‘courageous politicians who put their population’s health above their own electoral health’.

Nicely put Mr Farrer!

He added: ‘If we want to ensure that our health service is improving in the long-term, not just running to stand still, then fundamental change is necessary. We should all be concerned about the future of the NHS and we should all be active in finding the best solutions.’

Yes, like having grown-up dialogue between all care agencies; like putting an end to an autocratic approach to ‘solutions’; like more money to furnish creative care that can be achieved and delivered; like giving us some direction; and perhaps, most of all, listening to the people who actually try to deliver care.Image

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