In response to the launch of the government’s Health and Social Care White Paper, Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), has issued the following statement:
Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of VODG, said:
“VODG supports the policy focus for more integrated health and social care services but approaches today’s White Paper with a degree of caution.
“On the back of NHS’ proposals to reorganise itself better and the expansion of Integrated Care Systems, the content of the White Paper is heavily focused on systems, frameworks, and legislation, when what we need is to put people at the heart of a Health and Care Bill and for person-centred policies to be front and centre of proposals. Furthermore, according to today’s White Paper, separate proposals for social care reform will be announced later this year – a further delay to already long-awaited and overdue promises of reform.
“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shown us that the impact of a poorly organised health and social care system is felt most by people who draw upon social care services and community support to live the lives they choose. To genuinely learn from such lessons as well as prepare for the recovery of our health and care system, reform must truly embrace the support that people need to live fulfilling and independent lives and the breadth of organisations providing this support.
“Voluntary sector disability organisations are at the heart of the communities they support and their contribution to society is significant. It is our hope that the government’s ambitions for integration, will genuinely see greater collaboration and partnership working between the NHS and the voluntary sector.
“There are some encouraging measures included in today’s White Paper and we look forward to engaging with ministers on the detail of these to ensure critical unresolved challenges that have long been prevalent in the sector are resolved and that reform genuinely puts people at the heart of decision-making and policy development.”