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Social Care Crisis having ‘damaging effect’ on NHS, says NHS Confederation

By Isabel Shaw
4 December 2019

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The social care crisis is having a ‘damaging effect’ on the NHS as well as patient care, healthcare leaders have said. 

NHS confederation said that almost 98% of health leaders it had surveyed think that the worsening social care crisis is having a knock-on effect on the NHS as well as damaging patient care.

The NHS Confederation chief executive, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: ‘Creating a sustainable social care system must be a critical priority for the incoming Government. The issue has been ducked by politicians for far too long.’

This comes after the release of the NHS Digital Health Survey for England 2018, which showed that one in four adults over the age of 65 who are in need of help with daily tasks do not get the support they need.

Men and women living in the most deprived areas are twice as likely not to receive help with daily tasks as men and women living in the least deprived area, the survey said.

These daily tasks include eating, bathing, getting dressed and going to the toilet.

Over 1.9 million requests were made to local authorities in England regarding social care support in 2018/9 – a 3.8% increase from last year. Almost three-quarters of these requests were made by people over the age of 65.  

The growing social care crisis – according to NHS Confederation – is a direct result of the ageing population, people are living longer which in turn means there are more patients living with complex conditions. This, combined with serious workforce shortages, is placing enormous strain on the facilities and staff of the NHS. 

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