Opposition Day Debate: Social Care, House of Commons, 24 April 2019

The Government needs to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support. Short-term pressures cannot be managed through the social care precept and it is vital that the Government uses the Spending Review and its forthcoming green paper to deliver sustainable funding for social care for the long-term.  


Key messages

  • Adult social care and support is a vital service in its own right. It helps people of all ages to live the life they want to lead. It binds our communities, helps sustain the NHS and provides essential economic value to our country.
  • After years of underfunding the adult social care and support sector is at breaking point. First and foremost, it is impacting on the quality of life of people who have care and support 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.
  • Councils have protected social care relative to other services. They have found efficiencies and innovated to deliver public services in the most cost-effective way.  However, the service still faces a shortfall of £3.6 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.
  • Whilst we welcome recent cash injections for social care, to help tackle winter pressures amongst other things, we are clear that pressures are year-round and short term bailouts are not the answer. The Government needs to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support. Short-term pressures cannot be managed through the social care precept and it is vital that the Government uses the Spending Review and its forthcoming green paper to deliver sustainable funding for social care for the long-term.  
  • In the absence of the Government’s green paper, the LGA produced its own. 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 response to our consultation published in November 2018, set out key findings, implications and recommendations, including on how to fund social care.
  • Councils’ have seized new opportunities to make health everybody’s business since taking on responsibilities for public health. In the past six years 80 per cent of the 112 indicators in the public health outcomes framework have been level or improving. They have done this despite cuts to public health budgets of £700 million by the end of 2020.

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