It’s interesting to hear our politicians kick around the NHS “political football” or should it be, hit around the NHS political “golf ball”. They talk about promising an extra £8bn a year funding for the NHS – which is great – but they don’t talk about the projected £30bn annual shortfall facing us if we don’t address the social time bombs facing society as a whole.
An ageing population with increasing mental health issues, a rise in obesity and more people socially isolated is stretching the NHS and local authorities to breaking point.
The NHS and social services are on their knees. The proposed integration of health & social care is welcomed – but it will be a slow, complicated and controversial process. Vulnerable people in our communities will suffer as well-meaning bureaucrats concentrate on infrastructure and process, rather than the people requiring health & social care.
Local authorities are already struggling to deliver quality care in their communities as their budgets have been drastically reduced.
Some local authorities don’t even put social care as a “priority spend”. The voluntary sector and families are being relied upon more and more to pick up the pieces and deliver care themselves. This cannot be the right way to improve the health & wellbeing of local communities and our loved ones.
New primary care initiatives are urgently required that encourage healthy ageing and social cohesion. Let’s create new services that allow vulnerable, disadvantaged and socially isolated citizens to enjoy healthier, happier and dignified lives in their local communities.
Golf has a major part to play in helping realise this ambition.
The journey starts here!!