(Hmm, didn’t know she was a four-star general now)
For some time now, the Tories have been banging on about direct cuts to NHS Scotland being greater than the Tories’ own UK target of 4% and ignoring both the obvious explanation of the pooling of health and social care budgets and the consequent avoidance, here, of the ‘humanitarian crises’ we’ve seen in England over the last two winters.
Even BBC Scotland were able to spot the effectiveness of the SNP strategy to integrate health and social care, after the winter of 2016/2017:
‘Out of all the four nations, hospitals in Scotland seem [seem?] to have fared the best.
Much of the credit has been given to the way councils and the health services are working together [Who instructed and funded them so that they could do so?].
Budgets have been pooled [by the Scottish government], encouraging a close working relationship to help get frail patients out of hospital by providing extra rehabilitation services in the community.’
This week, a report from the Health Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (no supporter of Scottish independence), revealed the level of spending on social care in Scotland which has resulted from the pooling of budgets. First, the trend in overall spending on social care under the SNP administration:
‘Spending on social care has followed a different pattern. Across the UK as a whole, public spending on adult social care fell by nearly 10% between 2009–10 and 2016–17, despite significant real increases in spending in Scotland.’ (page iii)
Second, the percentage gap between the Scottish and English systems so clearly associated with the crisis in the latter:
‘In 2015–16, social care spending per adult was 31% lower in England than in Scotland.’ (page 1)
Third, variation in spending across the UK:
‘As a result, as shown in Figure 1.6, per-person public health spending varies across the different parts of the UK. In 2015–16, it was highest in Scotland at £2,387. This compares with spending of £2,302 in Northern Ireland, £2,249 in Wales and £2,226 in England.’ (page 7)
Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s, The Health Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/R143.pdf
It’s not difficult to understand, is it?