Councillors are calling on Cornwall Council to demand that the Government gives the funds needed to ensure that the NHS in Cornwall is properly funded. A motion going before the Full Council on 21st February calls on Cornwall Council to demand that the Government meet the £277m shortfall in funding highlighted by NHS England.
“Integrating health and social care won’t solve the funding pressures” Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, warned recently. Councillors Sue James and Rob Rotchell have reached that same conclusion about local services here in Cornwall, leading them to submit a motion that has been scheduled for debate at Full Council on 21 February.
The Government is requiring Cornwall’s NHS to work with the Council to come up with a 5 year plan that transforms how services are organised so they are more affordable and sustainable for the tax payer. The current plan shows a shortfall of £277m against what is needed and will inevitably lead to cuts in services.
Councillor James says “I have become increasingly concerned about the fragility of our community based health and social care services in Cornwall and the knock on effect this is having on hospital based provision. When a recent consultation meeting about the future of services talked of ‘outdated bed based care’ I could keep quiet no more. If there has to be some kind of revolution in the way we provide care then we have to get funding right and ensure community based services are running effectively and efficiently as soon as possible.”
Councillor Rotchell, Chair of the sub-committee required to scrutinise the emerging local plans says “It is well known that the NHS in Cornwall has been underfunded for years and this is not a good foundation for designing services to meet the needs of the people of Cornwall going forward. I want the Government to meet its obligation to us in this rural peninsular and the time has come to recognise that whilst the integration of health and social care makes sense, the funding of both services needs to be fixed before this can be achieved.”
The motion, proposed by the Councillor for St Just, Sue James and seconded by Camelford’s Councillor Rob Rotchell states:
This Council’s ambition for Cornwall is to maintain and improve Health and Social Care provision to meet the needs of our local population, despite Government cuts to funding. This Council calls upon the Government to acknowledge that making better use of existing resources will not in itself resolve the growing crisis confronting both the NHS and local council adult social care services and that additional funding is also needed.
This Council resolves to write to all of Cornwall’s MPs and the Health Minister to request that the issue of the historic underfunding of health services in Cornwall is addressed to support our efforts to achieve an NHS and Social Care system that is adequately funded as well as effectively organised.