On behalf of its membership, the cross-party LGA regularly submits to Government
consultations, briefs parliamentarians and responds to a wide range of parliamentary inquiries. Our recent
responses to government consultations and parliamentary briefings can be found here.
COVID-19 has put adult social care firmly in the public, political and media spotlight. This emergency has highlighted the essential value of social care to the wider public and this interest needs to be harnessed in the debate about the future of care and support. Long-term reform is urgently needed and we are calling on the Government to set out its thinking at the earliest opportunity.
To ensure councils can continue to support their most vulnerable residents, it is crucial Government brings forward plans for long-term reform to the adult social care system and additional funding for child and family support services. As a starting point, returning the Early Intervention Grant to 2010/11 funding levels by providing an extra £1.7 billion would enable councils to reinstate some lost preventative and early help services which help tackle and prevent emerging problems and avoid costs and impact escalating later on.
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. Too often health and social care are set on unequal footings, with the latter viewed (sometimes solely) in terms of the role it can play in supporting the former.
This briefing summarises the proposals of relevance to local government in the NHS consultation document and highlights the initial key messages, questions and concerns of the LGA. Our final response to the consultation will be informed by the views of our member authorities.
We welcome the updated PPE guidance from Public Health England around social care settings, the first one focusing on care homes was issued last week. We now urgently need to see the updated guidance on domiciliary care.
Protecting and supporting communities, including the most vulnerable, remains councils’ top priority. Council staff are working 24 hours a day to help delay the virus, minimise the spread of infection and keep people safe and well. Council colleagues are doing an amazing job in hugely challenging circumstances and we pay the highest tribute to their commitment and dedication.
The underfunding of adult social care and support sector 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, creating unmet and under-met need and impacting on social care’s ability to help mitigate demand pressures on the NHS.
In recent years, adult social care has been propped up by one-off, piecemeal injections of funding. This hampers councils’ ability to plan for anything beyond a short-term horizon. Social care and public health funding should therefore be given the same long-term certainty as NHS funding.
We are pleased that in the recent Spending Round, the Government has responded to our calls and provided desperately needed new money, including £1 billion for social care (children’s and adults), as well as confirming the continuation of existing grants. However, these one-off, piecemeal injections of funding hamper councils’ ability to plan for anything beyond a short-term horizon. Social care needs to be given long term funding certainty in the same way as the NHS, and we look forward to seeing the Government’s plans for long-term adult social care reform.