Boosting GP numbers and more NHS money will not solve the UK’s care crisis, says care expert

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The CEO and co-founder of Novacare, a service and solution provider for the care industry has said a “fundamental change” is required in the way we access health advice.

Stephen Wilson has spoken out about what he believes needs to change in order for us to secure a better future for those in need of care across the UK.

His comments come ahead of the 2019 General Election and the pledge by the Conservative Part to create 50 million more GP appointments a year as part of their manifesto.

 Stephen said: “There is a clear shortage of GP’s across the UK, particularly as more plan their retirement, however, increased GP numbers are just a small part of a modern-day solution. 

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“The way in which we access healthcare has changed and it’s now acceptable to pop into a pharmacy for advice or use services such as Babylon Health, to immediately get a virtual GP appointment at a time that suits you.

“We don’t just need more GPs, we need a fundamental change in the way we access advice quickly securely and conveniently.”

In light of recent figures published confirming the NHS already takes 42% of Scotland’s budget with an expectation it may rise to 50% over coming years, Stephen has added that more NHS funding is not the answer to care problems.

Instead, he is advocating faster progress on health and social care integration, with more services provided to people in their own homes.

He also backs greater community-based teams and partnerships between care providers, GP and hospital services.

Stephen added: “If we truly wish to shift focus from hospital to home then we need to address the elephant in the room, funding and work hard to achieve a better deal for Social Care providers”.

Some of the perceived benefits to this re-focused approach would include better health outcomes for people, reduced costs to Health and Social Care Partnerships and less demand of hospital beds, A & E and ambulances

Stephen said: “Currently HSCPs contract care providers at rates that prohibit long-term investment in their staff and service. 

“If we want to raise the perceived value of care workers, then we must first commit to paying them above the living wage. 

“The cost of a HSCP to provide its own care service is 3 to 4 times that which they pay to Scotland’s Care providers.  How can that be fair?”

 Novacare has launched a project to support the care industry with the recruitment and retention of staff.

The overall aim of the project, which has been approved for funding through Scottish Enterprise,is to identify and address workforce issues in light of the turbulent political climate.

The consulting program has been built specifically for the social care sector as a direct response to industry demand.

 
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