Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation said:

'The National Audit Office (NAO) is right to highlight that without adequate and sustainable funding for social care, efforts to integrate health and social care will be hampered.

'Their report helpfully summarises a whole range of barriers that must be overcome, but the focus needed to overcome these will be extremely difficult to find with the social care system in such a perilous state. After eight years of austerity, the system has seen sustained cuts and staff turnover rates are over 25% - making integration a near impossibility.

'Health and social care are inextricably linked and it is clearly not enough to boost NHS funding alone. More and more vulnerable people are falling through the cracks of a broken system, with many left without the help they need. If social care funding isn’t urgently tackled, we will continue to see the knock-on effects; emergency admissions of those not receiving adequate care at home and people languishing in hospital due to a lack of resources in the community.

'Just to maintain the current inadequate provision of social care will require funding increases of 3.9% a year. More fundamental reform will cost more but will provide an opportunity to address the unfairness of the current social care system. Doing nothing is no longer an option – we need to see bold and decisive action and a significant long-term funding boost in the much anticipated Autumn Green Paper. This must go hand in hand with a long-term workforce strategy.'

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