ADASS welcomes the opportunity to make this representation on the Autumn Statement.
Social care provides care, support, and safeguards for those people in our communities who have the highest level of need and for their carers. The depth of shared concerns about the quality, safety and sufficiency of social care services has bound together national organisations from across the public, private and voluntary sectors over the last year. Nearly two million people rely on these essential services and around 6.5million carers support people alongside and beyond the formal social care sector.
However, successive governments have failed to sufficiently address what is an overwhelming issue: the recognition of and funding for these vital services and supports. This is now widely acknowledged.
HM Treasury will be aware of concerns across the sector about the funding of adult social care. Successive years of cuts took £4.6bn out of council social care budgets between 2010 and 2015 whilst need grew significantly (see appendix 1). In 2016 further savings of £941m are being made: a cumulative total of £5.5bn. Last year the second part of the Care Act was deferred. We supported this on the clear understanding that the £6bn that would have been needed to fund the changes was used instead to support the crisis in core social care funding.
There are no perfect formulae for identifying the precise funding that is required. Providers, commissioners, academics and independent think tanks all arrive at slightly different figures, dependent upon the variables incorporated and what they are trying to address. The table below sets out a range of estimates based on the gap between costs, needs and funding moving forward and is based on the same assumptions as in the Local Government Finance Settlement 2015 (for example, that all councils will raise the precept, etc). Please note that this is on top of the prior reductions identified above of £5.5bn and it does not take full account of what the price of care would be, were it to be priced at the level providers say is necessary for their sustainability and non-exit of the market. It is also important to appreciate that the apparent improvement in the later years is entirely dependent on all of the money attached to the improved Better Care Fund coming, without conditions, and cannot compensate for the crisis conditions in the early years for some of the councils who raise least from the precept.
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