An extra £12bn a year is needed to make the NHS and social fit for the future after the pandemic, a new report has said.
The State of Health and Care report, published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), sets out a blueprint to ‘build back better’ and deliver a world-leading NHS and social care service.
Dr Parth Patel, IPPR Research fellow and lead author, said: “The government wants to ‘build back better’ in health and care. This landmark report provides a costed and comprehensive plan on how to do that. It offers implementable solutions to the shrinking workforce, the crisis in care and fragmented health services.”
Immediate priorities identified by the report include guaranteeing a living wage for all care workers through a £1bn government wage subsidy similar to the furlough scheme, scrapping the skills requirement and salary threshold for migrant care workers and making social care free at the point of need as with the NHS.
Longer term proposals include increasing integration between health, care and public health care services and creating a ‘long term plan’ for social care that drives low quality providers out of the market, puts a cap on accommodation costs, shifts ownership back to public and voluntary sectors and brings care worker pay in line with NHS pay scales.
The proposals also call for upgrading digital infrastructure across the NHS and care to vastly improve productivity, care quality and further drive integration.
A government spokesperson told our sister title, Care Home Professional: “We are backing the NHS in every possible way in our fight against this virus, investing £63 billion this year and £22 billion next year. This investment comes on top of £9.4 billion capital funding to build and upgrade 40 new hospitals and £3 billion we have earmarked for supporting recovery and tackling NHS waiting lists.
“It is already making a difference, with average waiting times for elective treatment falling by 40% since July and we will continue to work with the NHS to ensure all patients receive the best quality care as quickly as possible.”