LGA briefing - Opposition Day Debate: Social Care Funding, House of Commons, 17 October 2018

Adult social care is a crucial service in its own right that transform peoples’ quality of life. However, years of significant underfunding coupled with rising demand and costs for care and support, have combined to push adult social care services to breaking point.


Key messages

  • The adult social care and support sector is at breaking point and this is having a series of negative impacts. First and foremost, it is impacting on the quality of life of people who have care needs. It is also creating a fragile provider market, putting workforce and unpaid family carers under further strain, and impacting on social care’s ability to help mitigate demand pressures on the NHS.
  • A sustainable NHS is not possible without a sustainable social care sector. If the NHS is going to thrive over the next 70 years, we need to make sure our social care services are properly funded and sustainable. To do this we need cross-party consensus or cooperation on the future of adult social care.
  • Councils have worked hard to find efficiencies and be innovative in order to deliver public services in the most cost-effective way. Despite this, councils still face an overall funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025.
  • Councils have protected social care relative to other services. But the service still faces a shortfall of £3.56 billion by 2025. This is needed simply to keep on providing existing support at current levels and would not meet the cost of changing the current model of provision, or include the funding needed to tackle under met and unmet need.
  • Our latest ComRes polling shows that the overwhelming majority of MPs (84 per cent) and peers (76 per cent) agree that funding for adult social care should increase.
  • Whilst we welcome the Government’s recent injection of an additional £240 million for social care to help tackle winter pressures, we are clear that pressures are year-round, short term bailouts are not the answer. The Government needs to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support.
  • The delayed publication of the Government’s social care green paper until autumn 2018 is disappointing. In the absence of the Government’s green paper, the LGA produced its own. This was intended to stimulate a nationwide debate about how best to fund the care we want to see in all our communities for adults of all ages and how our wider care and health system can be better geared towards supporting and improving people’s wellbeing. The lives we want to lead: the LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeingwas published in July 2018 and posed a series of thirty questions covering social care, public health, health and wider wellbeing. The consultation closed on 26 September.
  • There were over 2000 downloads of our green paper, 33,000 webpage views and over 500 responses from members of the public, professionals, voluntary organisations and charities.

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LGA briefing - Opposition Day Debate: Social Care Funding, House of Commons, 17 October 2018