Estimates debate: spending on health and social care House of Commons, 2 July 2018

Adult social care is a vital council service that helps to transform people’s quality of life. It supports adults of all ages with a range of different needs and their carers. There cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system.


Key messages

  • Adult social care is a vital council service that helps to transform people’s quality of life. It supports adults of all ages with a range of different needs and their carers. There cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system.
  • Almost every service provided by councils has an impact on the public’s health and wellbeing. Tackling the determinants of health makes sense at a pragmatic as well as a moral level, because it can prevent people becoming ill and reduce the associated costs to local government, the NHS and the rest of government.
  • We welcome the joint report by the Health and Social Care and Housing, Communities and Local Government Committees on funding for adult social care. The report reflects the bold and radical decisions needed if we are to solve the crisis facing the care sector, and the political cooperation required to make these.
  • A recent ComRes poll commissioned by the LGA found that the vast majority of parliamentarians (84 per cent of MPs and 81 per cent of Peers) agree that additional funding should go to councils’ social care budgets to tackle the funding crisis. There is clearly agreement among national and local politicians that we need new money for social care. We need to work with the Government to deliver this.
  • The care and support Green Paper should be an opportunity to prioritise establishing a long-term funding solution for adult social care. Meaningful public engagement and a cross-party approach will be important to delivering on this priority.
  • It is therefore disappointing that the publication of the Green Paper has been delayed following the NHS funding announcement in June. The longer the wait for a funding solution for adult social care, the more pressures grow. This also has an ongoing impact on the lives of people requiring care and support services and the NHS.
  • Interim funding is urgently needed to stabilise the system. New money will also be needed until well into the next Spending Review period in order to achieve sustainability and quality. Without such funding, we risk implementing green paper reforms onto a system that is further destabilised by financial pressures.
  • Since 2010, councils have made savings worth £6 billion in adult social care. Deeper reductions to other council services and incremental measures by Government to increase the level of funding for social care has enabled the service to stay afloat. There will be a significant funding gap by 2020 if an urgent solution is not found.
  • Despite budget reductions, councils continue to run early intervention and prevention programmes designed to improve the public’s health and reduce the reliance on NHS services. To deliver this vital work and reduce pressures on the NHS, we must reverse the £200 million reductions made to the public health budget in 2015 and stop plans to further reduce the budget by £331 million.

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Estimates debate: spending on health and social care House of Commons, 2 July 2018