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Poor social care problems sees patients struggle in city

Posted on 19/02/2018 by

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ALMOST 98 percent of doctors have seen patients experience problems due to poor provision of social care, a new survey has found.

They warned the problem will become worse as budgets are further squeezed.

Forty six out of 47 GPs in Brighton and Hove questioned by researchers said their patients had struggled as a result of “difficulties with social care provision”, with more than half saying this happened on a weekly basis.

Almost as many – 94 per cent – said their patients had been admitted to hospital unnecessarily as a result of limited social care resources.

Last month The Argus reported patients having to wait in ambulances or hallways for an hour or more because of the unavailability of beds at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

When asked: “What effects do you think [the council’s plans to further reduce the social care budget] will have on your patients’ health outcomes and safety” more than 80 per cent of the respondents replied they would be “made much worse”.

Forty of the 47 selected the bleakest of the three predictions offered, while six chose “made a little worse” and one said outcomes would be “unaffected”.

The results of the survey have been condemned by Green politicians.

Councillor Dick Page, Green spokesman for health and wellbeing, said: “The results of this survey paint an alarming picture of a service that simply cannot withstand further cuts.

“I am shocked at the indifference of Labour councillors and clinical commission group leaders to such reports from the front line.

“They seem more interested in ploughing ahead with a costly ‘integration’ reorganisation which conforms to the Government’s financial straitjacket.

“Greens and local campaigners have warned time and time again that community services are at breaking point.

“We have far fewer GPs per head than the rest of Sussex, for example.

“This council seems unwilling to face up to the reality that the NHS is being starved of funds. It lies within the administration’s hands to work with all parties to reconsider these grave cuts to health and social care.”

At Thursday’s city budget meeting, the Labour administration will propose plans for the year ahead which include what they have described as an extra £6 million to cover the rising cost of adult social care.

Nonetheless there have also been £3.4 million in savings – or cuts – identified from the health and adult social care department for the financial year ahead.

Overall the proposed budget contains £13 million in cuts, and a six per cent council tax rise.

Two thirds of the GPs surveyed told the researchers, from SurveyMonkey, that they were unaware of plans to squeeze further the budget for social care provision in the city.

Green MEP Keith Taylor, a former city councillor and a member of the European Parliament’s Public Health Committee, added: “GP surgeries are the first port of call for patients but

are under intolerable pressure as the cuts to social care and pharmacies continue apace.

“While, locally and nationally, Greens are committed to battling against the cuts, too often in places like Brighton, where almost a quarter of GP surgeries have been closed since 2015, Labour councils are meekly acquiescing.

“Now more than ever it is essential that councils across England stand up to a Conservative Government that is putting people’s lives at risk in the pursuit of an ideological-driven policy of defunding and, ultimately, dismantling our beloved NHS.”

Source: TheArgus