Long term sustainability of the NHS and Social Care, 19 April 2018

The commissioning and provision of adult social care and support is a vital council service that can transform people’s lives. It is a crucial public service that supports working age disabled adults, older people and their carers, as well as promotes their wellbeing and independence. Despite major funding pressures, councils have worked hard to preserve adult social care outcomes.

Key messages

  • It was positive to see the Government commit to a long-term investment in the NHS last month. The same commitment is needed for adult social care, which should be given parity with the health service. Adult social care is vital in its own right and there cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system.
  • The funding that this Government has made available to adult social care to date is welcome. Despite this new money, adult social care faces a funding gap of £2.2 billion by 2020. This must be addressed as an urgent priority.
  • The forthcoming Green Paper is an important opportunity to try and secure a sustainable funding solution for the long-term. To avoid the risk of it suffering the fate of previous attempts at funding reform, there must be cross-party consensus on the way forward.
  • The delayed transfer of care (DTOC) reduction targets, introduced by this Government, place too much emphasis on just one part of the system and risks preventing the system from working more effectively to ensure that people have the right care and support at the right time to avoid admission to hospital.
  • Good local public services are the bedrock of good mental and physical health, wellbeing and resilience. Despite the potential benefits of public health services, local authorities face a £331 million reduction to their public health budget, on top of a £200 million reduction announced in 2015.

Download the full briefing
Long term sustainability of the NHS and Social Care, House of Lords, 19 April 2018