The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown into sharp contrast to the damage caused by the division between health systems and social care but also the fragmentary nature of the social care system. The problems we identified and addressed in this paper include inefficient visibility and use of available resources, glaring unfairness, poor co-ordination between health and social care services, inability to recruit and retain sufficient staff, risk of the financial collapse of major care homes, and the inability of the care provided to allow people to maximize their potential. Once one considers health and social care as a single integrated system, new solutions become apparent that would better meet the needs of the individual, redress the profound unfairness that exists and make more cost-effective use of national and household finances.
A recent Ipsos survey revealed that people rated care for older and disabled people as third after Brexit and NHS and higher than the economy, education, and housing. In a foreword to a recent document, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP wrote “Every Member of Parliament will be aware of the deep unfairness inherent in the country’s health and social care provisions”.
It is our belief that we now have the ideal moment to enact fundamental changes to bring about a fair, efficient, and integrated national care service.
This document has been submitted as evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services. The full paper will be available only after the results of the committee are published.