NHS trust bosses and health experts mobilise in campaign for funds

In an unprecedented move, a coalition of 15 organisations, led by the NHS Confederation, has come together in a new campaign calling on the government to commit extra funding for social care.

Public sector health organisations have united to campaign on social-care funding Pic credit: Obencem/Getty Images
Public sector health organisations have united to campaign on social-care funding Pic credit: Obencem/Getty Images

It is the first time leading NHS and health groups have united to raise concerns over social care. The opening shots in the 'Health for Care' campaign were fired in a story in The Sunday Times, ahead of yesterday’s launch, in which health bosses wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, telling her that social care is "on the brink of collapse".

At least 1.4 million elderly people are not getting the help they need to carry out basic tasks such as getting dressed and going to the toilet, according to campaigners.

A petition launched by the campaign on Monday, calling on the Prime Minister to give social care the funding it needs, received more than 30,000 signatures within 24 hours.

Strength in numbers

The coalition members range from medical bodies, including the Royal College of Physicians, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal College of General Practitioners, to organisations such as University Hospitals Association, NHS Providers, and the Patients Association.

The campaign has been launched in an attempt to influence a government Green Paper, expected later this year, which will outline proposals for the funding and provision of social care to disabled adults and older people in England.

Key messages include calling for eligibility for social care to be based on need, and that social care should be properly funded.

Campaigners claim that a minimum annual increase of 3.9 per cent in funding is needed to cater for the needs of an ageing population and the growing number of younger adults living with disabilities. The yearly social-care bill is predicted to rise by about £18bn by 2033-34.

They aim to make the case for a sustainable, long-term settlement for adult social care to be delivered as part of the 2019 Spending Review.

Focus on Westminster

The core target audience are government ministers, special advisers and civil servants, with a particular focus on No 10, the Treasury, Cabinet Office, Department of Health and Social Care, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Campaigners are developing a cross-party consensus on the need to reform social-care services, to reinforce their demands.

A mix of public and private channels is being used to inform and influence opinion. These range from engaging with mainstream media to meeting parliamentarians and key stakeholders to get their backing and support, and promoting the campaign on social media.

To sustain media coverage of the issue, the campaign will release a range of reports with new analysis, as well as thought leadership pieces on why social care needs a new settlement, in the coming months.

Daniel Reynolds, director of comms, NHS Confederation, told PRWeek: "Finding a sustainable solution to the social-care crisis is among the greatest challenges we face. Successive governments have failed to deal with this, and time is running out to put this right. Our goal should be to deliver a settlement for social care in England that would last for generations."

He added: "Through new research and analysis, polling, events and other activities, we will raise the temperature on this crucial unresolved issue and highlight the human cost of inaction."

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