Thursday 5 December 2013
The winter A&E pressures, lonely older people, caring families unable to work, and disabled people struggling to live independently are all urgent, challenging issues for this Government. But behind them is a simple point: the need to fund councils sufficiently to organise enough care for the people who need this help.
The Government acknowledges the scale of the problem and has taken important steps to address it, not least through the Care Bill, which sets out a positive vision for the future of adult social care which the sector is united around. However, the government must provide the means as well as the ends both now and in the longer-term.
Social care is seriously under-funded and a financially sustainable foundation must be the basis from which to take forward the proposals in the Care Bill, which themselves need to be fully funded
The new Integration Transformation Fund, created to improve NHS and social care joint working, is existing money, albeit better focused. It has the potential to redefine how we allocate resources across the system for the benefit of both the individual and the public purse. But if the Government continues to cut council budgets then the good intentions of the fund will be damaged and it will do no more than slow the growing gap between supply and demand for social care.
So today we call on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to prevent the cracks already evident in our parched adult social care system from becoming still wider. The best way to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the Government is by reshaping local health and care economies and investing more in local, preventative social care and support.
Sir Merrick Cockell, Local Government Association Chairman
Sandie Keene, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance