Health and Social Care

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, CCN member councils are increasingly spending almost half their budgets – and indeed almost half of England’s adult social care spend – on ensuring that the elderly and disabled live independent and dignified lives.

However, these demographics mean that counties face the most acute pressures in delivering social care services. Yet funding does not follow need: counties are the lowest funded councils for social care, whilst their areas contain complex health economies with heavily fragmented local care markets. CCN’s advocacy and its ground-breaking evidence helped postpone implementation of Part 2 of the Care Act, and was important in securing and additional investment of £2bn by Government in social care as part of the March 2017 budget.

The drive towards health and social care integration offers the potential to align services so they work more efficiently, but counties local expertise and financial prudence must be utilised in the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) process. Importantly, integration will only be successful if it is supplemented by long-term reform to social care and funding. With a planned review of social care provision forthcoming, CCN plans to continue its evidence-based advocacy to ensure counties retain a strong role in delivering and overseeing local care, with those areas properly funded based on their present and future need.

55% of England’s over 65s reside in county areas, this number is set to rise at 2% each year by 2020
Counties are responsible for 48% of the country’s spend on adult social care, £6.8billion in 2016/17
Yet they are the lowest funded authorities: receiving £439 less per elderly resident compared to inner London
Just 58% of county directors of social care feel they are actively involved in their local STP planning process

CCN advocacy

  • 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.
  • Advocating the need for genuine long-lasting reform that ensures the future sustainability of social care; with counties having a prominent role in both any review and its outcomes.
  • Ensuring that any reforms do not impact adversely on local care markets and the sustainability of county authority budgets.
  • Advocating for a fair allocation of future funding announcements that reflects county pressures and that local decisions are made on where this money goes.
  • Continue to work with government and stakeholders to ensure that counties play a prominent role in STPs and wider health integration.

CCN Health & Social Care Spokesman

Cllr David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council