LGA cries out for sustainable long-term solution to tackle the social care “funding crisis”
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday that the NHS will receive a welcome cash injection of £1.8 billion, the Local Government Association (LGA) has voiced its concerns that a sustainable health service cannot exist without a sustainable social care system.
The state of social care in the UK has been highlighted as falling short, both in terms of funding and support, which places a huge amount of pressure on carers and the people who are in need of care.
According to the Health Foundation’s briefing paper ‘NHS and social care funding’, in 2015/16, the number of people aged 65 and over in England increased by two percent, while the number of them receiving social care fell by two percent. It also estimates that over 900 social care workers leave their profession every day, placing an even greater strain on the adult social care system.
To add to this, in a joint paper by researchers from the Health Foundation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust, it revealed that adult social care spending in the UK has fallen by almost 10 percent between 2009/10 and 2016/2017.
The paper also notes that based on current spending, a UK funding gap of £18 billion will open up by 2030/31.
It says that without adequate funding for social care, attempts to improve the NHS will be hindered and that people will continue to fall through the cracks of a failing social care system.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, commented: “While is important that the NHS is adequately funded, it is clear that there cannot be a sustainable health service without a sustainable adult social care system.
“The Prime Minister has promised to bring forward proposals for a long-term solution to the adult social care funding crisis. It is vital that the Prime Minister plugs the £3.6 billion funding gap facing adult social care to keep services running. This is the best way to reduce pressure on the NHS and keep people out of hospital in the first place.
“Last year, we produced our own social care green paper outlining key recommendations on how this could be achieved. The Government should also take these forward as it produces its own proposals.
“Local government stands ready to work with the Government to make sure we have a social care system that ensures everyone gets the vital care and support they need.”