9 out of 10 NHS Trust finance directors feel that cuts in local authority social care budgets are adversely affecting NHS services: when public services cannot support older people properly in the community, it’s acute services like hospitals that pick up the pieces. This is one reason why the NHS is in financial crisis with, for example, 88% of acute Trusts facing a deficit at the end of the financial year. Now, the Local Government Association has been asked to draw up new savings plans that cut as much as 40% of council budgets. It’s thought this could lead to further cuts of over £3 billion to vital adult care services, potentially denying 330,000 older and disabled people access to care – unless the NHS steps in.
“In [the] future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer.”— (Mark Britnell, former Head of Commissioning, Department of Health)