CLG Committee’s report on social care: CCN responds

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2017 | 31 March 2017

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Last September, the County Councils Network submitted evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s inquiry into the funding and provision of social care.

CCN’s Health and Social Care Spokesman Cllr Colin Noble also gave verbal evidence on behalf of the network during one of the inquiry’s sessions.

You can read the newly-published report, which quotes CCN substantially, here.

Responding to the report, Cllr Noble said:

“CCN welcomes this report as it reflects many of the key arguments used in advocating the need for new social care funding, which Government acknowledged in its £2billion announcement in the Spring Budget. In particular, this report rightly focuses on the fragile state of the provider market, building on our ground-breaking work with LaingBuisson.

“Looking longer term, reform must be underpinned by a thorough review of options, exploring the proposals outlined in this report and those put forward by local government. In addition, the Government’s needs-based review could provide an opportunity to create a simpler and fairer methodology for distributing council funding, based on the true cost drivers of delivering services. Currently, counties receive the lowest social care funding despite facing most acute demand pressures, so we look forward to working with Government on a sustainable way forward as part of the forthcoming Green Paper.

“We recognise that funding alone will not deliver a long term solution. This report provides further important evidence on the challenges in delivering fully integrated care. It is critical that we continue to work with our local partners to explore new ways of delivering more closely aligned services to ensure quality social care is deliverable in the 21st century. Counties must be empowered by Government to build upon their significant track record of delivery and leadership of efficient and effective local services, with the report recommending local authorities have a bigger role in health commissioning.

“The STP process is central to this, particularly in complex county areas. In this vein, we welcome the CLG committee’s recommendation that STP boundaries should be reviewed so they better align with local authority boundaries, enhancing co-terminosity between providers, reducing complexity and breaking down barriers to health and social care integration.

“Similarly, CCN also acknowledges the need to improve the operation of Disabled Facilities Grant. This is a key challenge for upper tier councils in improving preventative care. A fragmented approach to installing home adaptions is impacting upon delayed discharge rates attributable to social care; two thirds of delayed days in county areas are attributable to waits for adaptions and community equipment, compared to just under a quarter in county unitary areas. It is important that we work with our district partners through the Better Care Fund planning guidance to ensure those requiring adaptions receive them in a timely and efficient manner. However, we recognise that the forthcoming Green Paper may need to explore reforms to better integrate DFGs with upper tier social care services, as recommended by the select committee.

Read our submission from last September here.