The Early Intervention Foundation’s report on Realising the Potential of Early Intervention received a mixed reception. Local authorities and their partners agree on the importance of intervening early to prevent need from escalating but remain concerned about financial pressures which prevent them from investing in this space. At the National Children and Adult Social Care Conference, Department for Education colleagues suggested that further evidence was needed to prove that early intervention was making a real difference. Until then, it appears that central government is likely to continue to focus on statutory services and funding innovative projects that have the potential to reduce demand – and create cashable savings – at tier 3 and 4.
The State of Health and Social Care 2018 report written by CQC continues to describe a pattern of experience first identified in 2016 when they reported on services reaching ‘tipping point’. Nothing illustrates this more strongly than the distances from home of out of area health placements for people with serious mental health needs. CQC is a regulator and cannot therefore recommend a ‘solution’ beyond the need for greater alignment between health and social care, or highlight that the most critical impact of Brexit is the ‘domestic void’ where national strategy on health and social care should be. The green paper on adult social care is now due before the end of year (along with a 10 year plan for the NHS). It is fair to say that further delay will only increase the scale and complexity of what it must address.