Caring for the vulnerable, elderly, and disabled are some of the most important duties that county authorities carry out every day. In total, 55% of England’s over 65s live in county areas, with the number of older people expected to grow at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country. As a result, and due to significant reduction in government funding to local authorities, CCN member councils are increasingly having to re-route funding from other services towards adult social care – with counties spending on average 45% of their yearly budgets on caring for and supporting the elderly and disabled.
It is widely accepted that the status quo is no longer an option; with social care services under intense pressure across the country. The government’s forthcoming green paper is expected to outline steps that seek to make social care services more sustainable in the future. CCN has begun influencing the debate ahead of the green paper, with the network publishing a new report setting out key policy positions, such as the support for a fully-costed cap on care, the need for government to be bold on financial reform. Importantly, the report warns that change is unlikely to be successful if parts, or all, of social care are taken out of local government’s hands.
At the same time, councils have worked tirelessly to reduce delayed transfers of care and wider pressures on the NHS, reducing delayed days attributable to social care by 40% since July 2017 – showing that investing in local government delivers clear results. However, it is imperative that the government’s green paper shifts the emphasis away from crisis care, to focus on preventing people entering acute settings and remaining healthier and independent for as long as possible.
28% – the proportion of over 65s as a percentage of the total county population by 2039
Counties now spend 45% of their annual budgets on adult social care, up from 42% in 2015/16
Yet they face £1bn in unfunded costs pressures in adult social care by 2020,excluding the National Living Wage; this is £26m per county on average
The average private self-funder pays £243 more than the council in county areas, a 43% difference, with the council unable to pay higher rates due to chronic funding shortfalls
- Advocating for a fair and sustainable social care settlement for county authorities, rather than short-term fixes; one that provides genuinely new resource and protects individuals from catastrophic care costs
- Ensuring that any reforms are fully-funded by government – such as a cap on care – and do not adversely impact on local care markets
- Continue to illustrate the clear benefits of keeping social care a local service – and why councils must play a strong part in the integration agenda
- Moving the conversation on to a holistic view on how to solve the social care crisis – incorporating prevention and housing
- Advocating the need for government to focus on creating the conditions for social care and NHS partners to integrate services around the individual to deliver whole-person integrated care
- Produce fresh evidence showcasing the acute pressures county authorities are under in delivering social care to the elderly and those with learning disabilities as part of a wider campaign to advocate for a new and fairer funding deal for county services
CCN Health & Social Care Spokesman
Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council
Cllr David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council