The Government’s announced reforms have not yet ‘fixed’ social care. New national funding must be provided in the Spending Review.
The Government’s announced reforms have not yet ‘fixed’ social care. They have only begun to address one aspect of who pays for this vital public service and provide nothing for frontline social care in the here and now.
This is despite severe and mounting pressures that are resulting in growing unmet and under-met need, greater strain on the care workforce and unpaid carers and increased pressure on an already unstable provider market.
Councils can and do play a preventative role in alleviating demand on the social care system through the housing, welfare, leisure and wellbeing services we provide to millions of people across the country. But this cannot keep pace with the staggering increase in demand and costs.
New national funding for adult care and support must therefore be provided in the Spending Review - not just a reliance on further increases in council tax, which raises varying amounts in different parts of the country, unrelated to need.
We estimate £1.5 billion is needed to stabilise the care provider market now and then £1.1 billion per year over the next three years, to meet extra costs from rising demand for social care while maintaining current levels of quality and access.
Addressing the NHS backlog and freeing up hospital beds cannot be done without also fixing social care. On behalf of councils and directors of adult social services across England, we are also collectively calling for the Government to commit to a greater share of the new Health and Social Care Levy to go to frontline social care from the outset, to help tackle immediate pressures in the same way the NHS is able to.
There is a long way to go to make care and support the best it can be. Securing the here and now is a pre-requisite to any wider, longer-term changes – without investment we will move backwards, not forwards, with real consequences for councils’ ability to meet their statutory duties to support people of all ages to live the life they want to lead.
We have seen time and again during the course of the pandemic the enormous contribution adult social care and its incredible workforce has made to people, families and communities. A Spending Review that delivers nothing new for adult social care will be a failure to them all.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman, LGA Community Wellbeing Board
Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman, County Councils Network
Cllr John Fuller OBE, Chairman, District Councils Network
Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, Chair, Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities
Cllr Danny Thorpe, London Councils, Executive Member for Health and Care
Stephen Chandler, President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services