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LGA backs proposals for integrating health and social care

18/02/22
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Image source: istock.com/George Rudy

The Local Government Association (LGA) has got behind the Government’s proposals for using digital and data in integrating health and social, but stressed that councils need sufficient funding to put them into effect.

It has produced a briefing on its response to different elements of the white paper published last week by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The section on digital and data supports each key point of the proposals, saying the LGA strongly supports the move towards integrated shared care records to which the individual care recipients have access.

“The increased support for social care providers to move towards having a digitised care record has been essential and has been a good example of where the right central support and investment from government can have positive impacts for adult social care,” the LGA says.

It also gets behind the use of terminology standards, efforts to build digital, data and technology skills in the care sector, and the proposal for each integrated care service to have a population health platform accompanied by digital investment plans for local authorities.

Funding issue

But the LGA also emphasises that all this will require a significant capital investment and that there has been no additional funding for councils.

“It is therefore essential that funding and support is provided across the board to all councils for them to meet these mandates,” it says. “This is critical given the necessity of digital and data for integrated, person-centred care.”

It also says there is a need to “move at pace” with the ambitions and that this should include all parts of the health and care sector.

Commenting on the whole white paper, the LGA says it welcomes the underpinning values and its ambition and scope, but adds it will require a substantial and long term commitment from central and local government and the NHS.

The organisation is now working on a final submission to the white paper and is inviting views from local government leaders to be submitted to [email protected]

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