Responding to the Government’s announcement of a multi-year funding plan for the NHS, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“It’s good to see long-term investment in the NHS, but government also needs to make the same commitment to adult social care which deserves to be given parity with the health service.
“If the NHS is to celebrate its 100th birthday, then it’s imperative that adult social care is seen as an essential service in its own right and fully funded to future-proof it for the rising numbers of people who need care.
“This year’s winter health crisis and the way councils are successfully using extra social care funding from the Government to reduce delayed transfers of care – reducing delayed days by 27 per cent since July – should incentivise government to fully fund our social care system.
“Adult social care is already at a tipping point. Without an immediate injection of cash, even more providers will either pull out of contracts or go bust, leading to a lack of available care and a decrease in social care’s ability to help mitigate demand pressures on the NHS.
“Government needs to give urgent funding to councils to invest in prevention to reduce the need for people to be admitted to hospital in the first place, which will help to reduce costs to the public purse.
“But we cannot afford to wait for the adult social care Green Paper reforms to deliver; we need action now. As a down-payment on funding reforms, government needs to fully plug the funding gap facing adult social care, which is set to be more than £2 billion by 2020.”