The absence of additional funding for social care will have knock-on effects on the viability of providers and the sustainability of the NHS.
Ahead of the Autumn Statement councils, the NHS, charities, Parliamentarians, the Care Quality Commission and care providers were clear and vocal about the need for the Government to take action to tackle the funding crisis in adult social care. The lack of any announcement on social care in the Autumn Statement was therefore worrying.
Extra council tax-raising powers will not bring in enough money to alleviate the pressure on social care and councils will not receive the vast majority of new funding in the Better Care Fund until the end of the decade. We therefore need an injection of genuinely new additional funding to ensure councils can protect services which care for the elderly and vulnerable.
Challenges of this scale facing social care services simply cannot be ignored any longer. As a country we need far greater recognition of why social care matters and why it must be treated as a national priority. If councils are to stand any chance of protecting such vital services that support elderly and vulnerable people then we need urgent action to put social care on a sustainable financial footing. This must mean genuinely new additional funding.