"It is a completely false economy to put money into the NHS while not addressing the funding crisis in adult social care. This sends a message that if you need social care, you should go to hospital."
Responding to the Government’s announcement of £2.8 billion for the NHS along with £10 billion capital investment but no funding for adult social care, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“It is a completely false economy to put money into the NHS while not addressing the funding crisis in adult social care. This sends a message that if you need social care, you should go to hospital.
“If government wants to reduce the pressures on the health service and keep people out of hospital in the first place, then it needs to tackle the chronic underfunding of care and support services in the community, which are at a tipping point.
“In addition, central government’s cuts to councils’ public health budgets, which fund vital prevention work that improves the health of children, young people and adults, reducing the need for treatment later down the line and also easing the pressure on the NHS, need to be reversed.
“Adult social care needs to be placed on an equal footing to the NHS. It is clear that the public understands this, as adult social care was a central talking point in the recent general election. It is therefore deeply disappointing that government has today chosen not to capitalise on this momentum.
“While the announcement of a green paper next summer shows government recognises the need for long-term reform, this does nothing to address the immediate pressures older and disabled people are facing. Those who desperately rely on care and support on a daily basis cannot be left to make do while waiting for yet another review. They want action now.
“The £2 billion over three years announced in the Spring Budget was a step in the right direction, and councils have been effectively using this money, for example to reduce delayed transfers of care. However this was one-off funding and is not a long-term solution.
“Adult social care still faces an annual funding gap of £2.3 billion by the end of the decade. As a minimum government needs to plug this gap urgently to ensure services can keep on running and stop providers going bust, while we have the bigger conversation around how we secure a long-term sustainable future for social care.”