TopicsHealth & WellbeingGovernment acts to strengthen local care systems – but is it really...

Government acts to strengthen local care systems – but is it really enough?

The government has now committed to measures to support Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in a published response (Wednesday 14 June). However, the Carers Trust say that unpaid carers aren’t receiving the support they need.

The move by the government comes in the wake of two new reports surrounding the function of local health and care systems, with the focus of improving the population’s health.

The Department of Health and Social Care has outlined the steps it will take to ‘join up care for patients and communities’. Working with NHS England and local authorities, the government has committed to supporting local systems to adapt to new operating framework, including new roles providers will play in the health and care system.

Additionally, they have committed to funding prevention services, and freeing time for planning and delivery of health and care.

However, Carers Trust CEO Kirsty McHugh has highlighted that ‘it is vital that unpaid carers are seen and made a priority’.

Kirsty said: ‘We know that without unpaid carers the health and social care system would collapse.’ And that ‘despite their critical importance to our health and social care system […] many unpaid carers do not get the support they need’.

She concluded: ‘It’s vital that any newly reduced number of national targets still includes an explicit and clear expectation to support carers.’

The introduction of ICSs aims to tackle inequalities, access to health services, and enhance productivity across those services. The 42 ICSs in England plan to achieve this with collaboration between hospitals, GPs, and social care.

Image credit | Shutterstock


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