Cllr Ed Davie writes to Matt Hancock MP on his reappointment as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Dear Rt. Hon Matt Hancock MP,
Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
In Lambeth, we have worked hard to ensure that our early intervention, our public health work and the work on the wider determinants of health have a positive impact on the health of Lambeth residents. Lambeth is one of the first places to create an adult mental health alliance contract that pools council, NHS and voluntary sector funds, care and expertise to give our residents better outcomes more efficiently. We are taking that learning and applying more widely through our Lambeth Together integration work. Unfortunately, this is not feasible for the years to come without sustainable, fair and appropriate funding. Over the last few years our core funding from the government has been cut by more than half; that adds up to over £230m slashed from our budget between 2010 and 2020. The combination of rising demand and costs in the face of funding reductions has placed the social care system under considerable strain. In its present state, the system is not fit to respond to current needs and would definitely not be appropriate for future predicted trends.
There is still no sign of their Social Care Green Paper which was promised several times and many months ago, and vulnerable and older people have needlessly suffered as a result. With an aging population that is predicted to double over the next 40 years and who are expected to have more complex needs, failure to publish the Green Paper and allocate appropriate funding as soon as possible would mean that many will not have access to high quality, properly funded social care and the support they require. While one-off funding offers have helped address immediate pressures, these have not addressed structural problems faced by the care system. Aside from cuts and rising pressures in adult social care, the Government cuts of 6.2% to public health, which in Lambeth totalled a reduction of over £5 million, have removed funding that is essential for thousands of residents that rely on our services.
It is time for a fully-funded, national solution to the adult social care crisis. We will continue to deliver our services in Lambeth by working more and more closely with local GPs and hospitals, as efficiently and effectively as possible. But we require urgent action to address the funding crisis from your government. I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome a visit from you or your Ministers so we could explore adult social care and public health provision and needs in Lambeth.
Cllr Edward Davie
Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care