Today sees the release of the Barker Commission report on a new settlement for health and social care. Mind responds.
“We welcome this report and its focus on the issue of health and social care integration and funding in the run-up to the election. As the commission says, it’s important that these issues aren’t consigned to the ‘too difficult’ pile.
“People with mental health problems are particularly affected by disjointed, under-resourced services and more funding for both social care and mental health services is desperately needed. Since 2005, 30,000 people with mental health problems have lost their social care support, following a £90 million shortfall in funding due to cuts to local authority budgets.
“Many people are more interested in being able to access joined-up support than worrying about which budget it comes from - their needs are often urgent. The ambition to create ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health could be helped by implementing a number of these recommendations, which remove the technical distinctions between health and social care.
“Mental health problems can be debilitating but are often hidden and overlooked when it comes to social care. When someone is very unwell they might not be able to get out of bed for days and they may not leave the house for long periods of time. Their social care needs can be hugely varied, from support to get washed and dressed, help with food shopping or managing finances, to coping with an overwhelming feeling caused by being in a crowded space. Next year the Care Act introduces a national threshold that will leave many without access to much-needed care and support. We welcome the commission’s recommendation that the Government commits to lowering this bar over time, making social care free to those in greatest need.”
“Today also sees the publication of the Integrated Personal Commissioning prospectus by NHS England, the Local Government Association, Think Local Act Personal and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, which is an approach to commissioning integrated services that puts people at the heart of their own care. We hope a number of local health and social care organisations will work with people with mental health problems to take up this challenge locally and show it can be done.”
Notes to editor: