Local government still faces additional financial burdens meaning further savings are required.
Councils work closely with local providers to continuously improve services commissioned for older people in care homes. With an ageing population and growing demand for adult social care services, it is essential that social care is adequately funded to support the most vulnerable. The measures announced in the Spending Review will go some way to alleviating these pressures. However
Ahead of the Spending Review, the LGA called for further flexibility in the setting of council tax. The Government's announcement of the council tax precept for social care recognises the extreme funding pressures facing adult social care. It, along with additional funding pressures for social care through the Better Care Fund (rising to £1.5 billion by 2019/20), will go some way to alleviating the pressures facing the sector.
We welcome the announcement that the Better Care Fund (BCF) will continue as this will support further integration between health and social care, building on the efforts to date. However the additional funding for social care through the BCF announced in the Spending Review is back-loaded; there is no additional funding in 2016/17 and the amount in 2017/18 is only £105 million. This means a further two years of continued pressures at a time when services are already struggling.
Councils are starting from an unstable foundation as they have already faced a £5 billion funding reduction over the previous Spending Review period. Although there has been positive recognition of the pressures facing social care in the Spending Review, we are disappointed that the funding saved from the deferral of Phase 2 of the Care Act has not been fully reinstated to support the sector.