CIPFA President Professor Andrew Hardy and NHS Providers CEO Chris Hopson said: “While it’s been clear to those working across the public sector for many years that integrated systems and a place-based approach are key to delivering best value for communities, Covid-19 has brought the benefits of collaborative working, and the financial challenges facing both the NHS and social care sectors, into sharp relief.
“CIPFA and NHS Providers are today coming together to call on government to see health and social care as wholly interdependent services supporting people from cradle to grave. National policy decisions impacting the resilience of one service have implications for the other.
“The government’s commitment to ensuring the NHS has the funds it needs to combat the pandemic is very welcome and local government has similarly benefitted from some additional funding. However this has been insufficient to meet additional costs and cover lost income, so many councils are struggling to balance their books. The need to address historical under funding in social care and place the health and care system on a sustainable footing has never been more pressing.
“Policy decisions about NHS funding must take into account the impact on social care, and vice versa. If local authorities do not receive adequate funding from government to balance their books, they may be forced to retender critical community and public health services at a time when frontline staff should not face uncertainty, and when those very services are critical for the population and a robust health and care response in the pandemic.
“Off the back of this crisis, government can no longer turn a blind eye to the realities on the ground. It’s time to deliver best value and improve outcomes for the populations we serve. That will mean joining up policy more effectively at the top.”