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The National Health Service

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:08 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Eleanor Smith Eleanor Smith Labour, Wolverhampton South West 5:08 pm, 23rd October 2019

I do agree with that. The Royal College of Psychiatrists would back up the hon. Gentleman as well.

Organisations such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists have said that the ambition in the long-term plan to reduce the length of stay in adult acute in-patient mental health settings cannot be achieved without improved social care.

It is important to acknowledge the role of carers in supporting people with social care needs. Their own mental health can be at stake due to the pressure, the lack of support and the lack of information. According to a report by Rethink Mental Illness, only one in four carers—23%—feels well informed and respected as a partner in care. A similar proportion, 24%, receive no carer’s assessment, despite it being mandated under the Care Act 2014.

When the social care of patients is not met, not only does their independence suffer; so too does their health, which has a detrimental effect on the NHS. If the NHS is to deliver the ambitions of the long-term plan, a stable and effective social care system is needed. That is why we need to join up services from home to hospital and have a properly integrated NHS and social care service. It is a fact that if the integration of health and social care services did take place, more would be achieved and money would be saved, as the resources would be used jointly. That would ease the access and workforce pressures that continue to present significant challenges across all care sectors.

If the Government really want to tackle this crisis, they must reinstate the levels of access to care that we had before 2010 under the last Labour Administration.