This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Vital link between social care and health

Written by: | Published:

Dementia needs urgent support Dementia needs urgent support

As Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony demonstrated, Britain is rightly proud of the NHS. Nurses working in hospitals and in the community touch the lives of the 800,000 people with dementia in the UK every day. What policy makers often fail to appreciate, however, is the vital link between the way we fund social care and the future of the health system.

Dementia care is classed as a social rather than health need. This often means that people with dementia face tens of thousands of pounds in costs for care of variable quality. Hope of full-scale reform of this shocking system seemed dashed when a long awaited White Paper materialised without extra funding.

Against this backdrop, it is encouraging to see reports that the prime minister will implement the Dilnot Commission's care reforms by 2017. Currently, people with assets of just £23,250 are liable for often extortionate care costs.

Implementing the report's recommendations - which included increasing the means testing threshold and capping the total people pay for care - would be a first step to tackling this. Before cracking open the champagne, there are two issues which need to be addressed.

More substance is needed to understand what government is promising. People with dementia have grown used to warm words about this vital issue - concrete detail is needed if we're to be convinced that this time it is for real.

Government also needs to recognise that this issue cannot wait until 2017. The figures are stark: services are desperately underfunded, with a £1.9 billion gap in social care funding nationwide. If support in the community is threatened, people with dementia, at crisis point, will need costly hospital treatment, putting more pressure on the NHS. Short-term measures are needed to avoid long-term damage.

People with dementia will be looking to the prime minister to demonstrate leadership by making these promises a reality. It really is not time to celebrate quite yet.

Louise Lakey, policy manager, Alzheimer's Society

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.