Laura Sharman 16 October 2020

COVID 'magnifying' health and care inequalities

The coronavirus pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ existing problems in social care and magnified health inequalities, a report has warned today.

The annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) warns the pandemic has highlighted the long-standing need for reform, investment and workforce planning in adult social care.

It praised how quickly changes were made to the way care is delivered during the pandemic, with services developing new procedures in a matter of days.

However, it warned new ways of delivering services must not disadvantage anyone, and health and care services must be designed around people’s needs.

Ian Trenholm, chief executive of CQC, said: ‘COVID is magnifying inequalities across the health and care system – a seismic upheaval which has disproportionately affected some more than others and risks turning fault lines into chasms.

’As we adjust to a COVID age, the focus must be on shaping a fairer health and care system – both for people who use services, and for those who work in them.’ Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund, criticised the Government for failing to act on long-standing promises for reform.

He said: ‘It is time for a reset in public policy to tackle deeply entrenched health inequalities. As health and care staff brace for the second wave of COVID-19, ministers and national leaders must initiate a discussion about the fundamental changes that will create a healthier and fairer society beyond the pandemic.’

Trade union Unison called for an immediate pay and jobs boost in social care and the NHS to help boost morale.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: 'We are committed to supporting our health and care services as they respond to the pandemic and continue to provide high quality care for all.

'We’re investing significantly in mental health and expanding primary and community services to give two million more people – including those with learning disabilities and autism – access to vital support that will improve their quality of life.

'We are strengthening urgent and emergency care – including by upgrading A&Es ahead of winter, and we’re delivering on our commitment to build 40 hospitals by 2030. The NHS is getting a record cash funding boost through the Long Term Plan, and we are looking at range of proposals to put the social care sector on a sustainable footing for the future.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Adult Social Care (CLDT)

Bolton Council
£31,895
This is a permanent Social Work role in Adult Social Care. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Principal Programme Officer

Bolton Council
£35,336
Do you enjoy variety and change? Can you keep your eye on the detail whilst also thinking strategically? Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

IDT Junior Developer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£28,226 - £30,095
Telford & Wrekin Council are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated Junior Developer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Activities Leader (Outdoor Adventurous Activities)

Leicestershire County Council
£20,856
Lead activities and ensure that delivery of programmes are of a high standard. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Transition Support Worker (Complex Needs)

Leicestershire County Council
£19,701
This is an exciting opportunity for to work with an experienced team delivering high quality learning opportunities and care. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.