NHS Funding Bill, Second Reading, House of Lords, 26 February 2020

In recent years, adult social care has been propped up by one-off, piecemeal injections of funding. This hampers councils’ ability to plan for anything beyond a short-term horizon. Social care and public health funding should therefore be given the same long-term certainty as NHS funding.


Key messages

  • It is positive that the Government has made an explicit commitment to invest in the NHS to transform care and protect frontline NHS funding.
  • The NHS does not operate in isolation. The commitment for increased funding for the NHS will only be maximised if there is an equivalent scale of investment in social care, public health and prevention services that both improve people’s health, wellbeing and independence and relieve pressure on frontline NHS services.
  • Local authorities’ public health grant funding has reduced by over £700 million in real terms between 2015/16 and 2019/20. To match the growth in overall NHS funding as part of the Long Term Plan, the public health grant should increase to at least £3.9 billion by 2024/25. We are continuing our calls for the public health grant to be restored and placed on a long-term sustainable footing for the future, with the additional money used by local authorities to help avert the onset of disease and reduce the burden on NHS and social care.
  • At the time of writing, the Government is yet to publish the Public Health Grant for 2020/21. This delay is making it extremely difficult for councils to plan effectively, and the LGA is calling on Government to provide urgent clarity on this.
  • In recent years, adult social care has been propped up by one-off, piecemeal injections of funding. This hampers councils’ ability to plan for anything beyond a short-term horizon. Social care and public health funding should therefore be given the same long-term certainty as NHS funding. This means providing a commitment in legislation to fund these services and taking an approach comparable to that being taken to the NHS in this Bill. By doing this, the Government can provide long term certainty to social care and public health services, whilst helping to further stabilise care and support.

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NHS Funding Bill, Second Reading, House of Lords, 26 February 2020