THE FIRST ever loneliness strategy – launched this week by Theresa May and murdered MP Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater – shows what it is possible when some Government departments work together.
It now needs all Ministers to multiply their efforts and apply the same principle to social care. Unless there’s a joined-up policy at a national, regional and local level, hospital A&E units and GP surgeries will continue to be overwhelmed by frail individuals who are no longer in a position to look after themselves.
As such, Chancellor Philip Hammond should use this month’s Budget – and opportunity being presented by the forthcoming Green Paper on social care – to insist on such a strategy as part of the Government’s new funding settlement for the NHS. With taxes likely to go up to fund the extra £20bn a year promised by Mrs May, and an ageing society adding to the pressures, the need for real reform has never been greater.