Therese Coffey also said that this money was a ‘down payment on rebalancing funding between health and social care’.
Earlier this week, the County Councils Network (CCN) had called on the new Prime Minister to deliver on her promise made during her leadership election in the summer to allocate more funding to adult social care. Research produced by the network estimates that inflation could add £3.7bn to councils’ costs in delivering care in 2023 compared to 2021.
Below, CCN responds to today’s announcement.
Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils Network said:
“The County Councils Network (CCN) this week has highlighted the challenges in social care currently, and today’s welcome announcement of an extra £500m to help with discharges from hospital this winter is a step in the right direction. This will enable local authorities, working with the NHS, to ensure that people can quickly access care in the community whilst reducing pressure on the health service.
“But with councils facing £3.7bn in inflationary costs this year and next, today’s announcement falls short of what is required. This funding will assist with hospital discharges, but will not address other issues within the care system, such as over 500,000 people on care waiting lists, chronic staff shortages with over 160,000 vacancies, and major concerns that the introduction of reforms next year could exacerbate these financial and workforce pressures.
“Given these pressures, we are pleased that the Health and Social Care Secretary recognises this and said today’s announcement was a ‘down payment’ ahead of spending more on adult social care in the coming years. With care services under severe strain now, it is vital that the government provides clarity as soon as possible on how much extra social care will receive, and when – and provides this funding direct to councils.”