Thomas Bridge 06 July 2016

Brexit creates ‘policy vacuum’ on health and social care

Brexit has left a ‘policy vacuum’ on health and social care that councils are looking to exploit, a senior NHS chair has said.

Speaking at the Local Government Association Conference, NHS Confederation chair and independent chair of the Birmingham and Solihull STP, Stephen Dorrell, said the ‘time has never been better’ to integrate health and social care services and the agenda ‘never more important’.

He said Birmingham and Solihull was ‘determined to march’ into the ‘policy vacuum around these issues’ that would emerge following the result of the EU referendum.

‘It is an opportunity to create this more holistic vision of more joined up public services.

‘People are more ill than they need to be. They are more dependent than they need to be.

‘This is a failure to deliver health care and broader public services which respond effectively to communities.’

LGA community wellbeing portfolio chair, Izzie Seccombe, Britain was ‘entering a period of uncertainty’ and it was ‘now more important than ever for local government leaders to work with leaders in the NHS’ to find a ‘solution for health and social care’.

She said the NHS recognised ‘good health policy is local health policy’ and support had grown for local politicians to be ‘in the driving seat’ on change.

Age UK director, Caroline Abrahams, said there also needed to be ‘a more grown up debate about the role of the voluntary sector’ in health and social care.

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