Briefing: Health and Care of Older People in England 2019
Health and social care services are a perfect storm of limited financial resources, significant workforce challenges, and increasingly complex population needs. This report provides an overview of how health and social care services are struggling to individually and collectively provide care and support for older people. The NHS Long Term Plan has now set out a new and ambitious trajectory for health services for older people living with frailty and multiple long term conditions. This is matched by fairly significant investment. We hope, over time, this will bear fruit and address some of the limitations of NHS services for older people as they stand today. However much will depend on the willingness of a future government to match investment in health services with a commensurate commitment to delivering the workforce and capital investment required to realise this potential.
The social care system, however, remains stuck in purgatory. Investment and service activity can, at best, be described as ‘flat’. Yet older people’s need for care and support is rising by the day. Growing levels of desperation described by those individuals, families and professionals on the sharp end bear testament to a system working at full pelt, stretched to its limit and still failing people left, right and centre. Short term succour and a proper long term plan for social care must be a top priority for any incoming government.