Documents to download

On 25 January 2018, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate a motion moved by Baroness Wheeler (Labour) on the “impact on front line social care of the Government’s NHS plans and the delivery of services over the winter period”.

The NHS in England has been under acute strain in recent weeks. This fits a pattern of increased demand for health and social care services in winter months, and both the NHS and social care providers have had specific winter plans in place in recognition of the challenges that arise during the season. However, concerns have been raised both in Parliament and across the sector about the unprecedented pressures experienced during the current winter period and in respect of the resilience of current arrangements for health and social care in the context of the prevailing funding settlements in England.

Social care is part of a complex system of public services and forms of support, including health care provided by the NHS, for people who require assistance with daily living. This means that the NHS and social care sector are connected and interdependent in many ways. Whilst much of the recent debate on social care has concentrated on how pressures in the sector—including those relating to demand, funding, staffing and capacity in residential care settings—have impacted upon the NHS, pressures in the NHS can in turn have a knock-on impact on the social care sector. 

This briefing provides an introduction to the issue of the impact on the social care sector of current pressures in the NHS by giving a brief overview of social care, recent NHS plans and the current winter peak in demand for healthcare. It then discusses the challenge for the social care sector of delayed transfers of care, before considering recent proposals to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector. A list of suggested reading can be found in the final section as a source of further information on various aspects of this complex issue.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Smoke-free legislation: The UK and New Zealand

    During the 2023–24 session, the UK government introduced legislation to raise the age each year at which someone can legally buy tobacco products. This was similar to measures introduced in New Zealand which were recently reversed. This briefing looks at developments in New Zealand and how they have informed the debate on the UK government’s proposals.

    Smoke-free legislation: The UK and New Zealand
  • Infected blood scandal: Background, impacts, interim compensation and inquiry outcomes

    Between 1970 and the early 1990s, more than 30,000 NHS patients were given blood transfusions, or treatments which used blood products, contaminated with hepatitis C or HIV. Over 3,000 people have died as a result, and thousands live with ongoing health conditions. The infected blood inquiry has reported, calling for a range of measures, including immediate compensation, public memorials, and for lessons to be learned in medicine, government and the civil service.

    Infected blood scandal: Background, impacts, interim compensation and inquiry outcomes
  • Eating less sugar: Reformulating food and drink products and government policy

    Too much sugar in diets can contribute to health issues. Reformulating products, or changing how much sugar is in what people normally eat and drink, means the public do not have to change their habits to eat more healthily. Recent governments have introduced measures to decrease the public’s consumption of sugar, as well as salt and fat. However, some organisations have encouraged the government to go further by creating more mandatory schemes and levies for industry.

    Eating less sugar: Reformulating food and drink products and government policy