Skip to main content

The NHS cannot thrive in its mission without social care

NHS Ten Year plan is ambitious, as the adult social care green paper needs to be

The British Association of Social Workers are pleased to see the ambitious plans for preventative services, investment in mental health provision and enhancement of community services within the NHS Ten Year Plan. 

We remain disappointed that the publication of the adult social care green paper has been further delayed given the fundamental impact of the current crisis upon individuals, carers and families.

In order to achieve the ambitions detailed in the plan, it is essential that the government provide adequate resources across social care and invest in the fundamental role of social work in promoting true wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

In order to support the NHS to achieve the objectives within the ten-year plan, the government must address the current resource pressures within adult social care.

We are of the view that enough time has elapsed for a sector wide review to be undertaken into the application of the Care Act 2014 which should include an evaluation of how potential eligible needs are being reduced, how the criteria operates as a threshold, and how non-eligible needs are being addressed.

Increased funding and resource will support social care, but it also requires emphasis on the role of skilled practice, transparency about processes and decision making, capturing of need that is not met, and consideration about how eligibility is applied across the country.

We are pleased that the NHS Ten Year Plan includes acknowledgement of the role of both social and medical approaches in supporting individual’s wellbeing however it is essential parity is achieved between health wellbeing and social wellbeing. 

There is not currently a universally accepted definition of ‘wellbeing’ and BASW believes that this is necessary to ensure consistency and fair access to services.

It is hoped this will be addressed in the upcoming green paper and BASW strongly advocates for the use of the United Nations Definition of Independent Living to be used as the underpinning standard of wellbeing across health and social care.

It is essential that adult social care and the NHS work together towards achieving the objectives contained within the NHS ten-year plan.

It is necessary that the complex interplay between the NHS and Adult Social Care is fully understood in order to achieve any necessary or aspirational changes for the NHS and social care– we hope the green paper will sufficiently address these issues for the future.

BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska, says: “The NHS cannot thrive in its mission without social care. It is time for equal recognition of health and social wellbeing by governments and the public.

“As the professional association for social workers, we want to work more closely with NHS partners so that social work can realise its full potential in promoting wellbeing in our communities, and we will continue to call for adequate resources and support for social workers.”