This funding will be aimed at reducing delayed discharges through preventative measures or from directly investing in social care packages, but councils will be able to individually chose how to spend their allocation, which is understood to be distributed according to the relative needs formula.
Over the last few months, the County Councils Network (CCN) has been across the national media highlighting the severe funding pressures counties face, largely due to projected and current demand for social care services.
Over the next two years, counties face funding pressures of £3.2bn, largely due to social care pressures. Next year, counties will have to set out almost £1bn in new budget reductions, in addition to outlining over £700m of savings and cuts this present financial year.
CCN’s latest social care report, which sets out key recommendations for government ahead of the forthcoming green paper, can be downloaded here.
Cllr David Williams, County Councils Network spokesman for health and social care, and leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said:
“Today’s announcement of desperately-needed resource for social care ahead of the busy winter period is very welcome. County local authorities have had to save over £700m this year from their budgets – largely due to social care pressures. We welcome the government’s recognition of the County Councils Network’s calls for additional resources and this will help councils continue their impressive record in working innovatively to reduce delayed discharges from hospitals and ensure that patients do not stay in hospital longer than they need to.
“However, this one-off, in-year funding cannot underpin on-going resourcing and workforce strategies and perpetuates a trend of short-termism we have seen from successive governments when it comes to adult social care. With the 36 county authorities in the CCN membership facing a funding black hole of £1.4bn next year, further injection of funding for all services will be required for the next financial year in excess of what councils will receive from today’s announcement.
“CCN has long argued for a more preventative focus in any health and social care reform, and today’s announcement is a recognition that there needs to be a broader focus than just supporting those in crisis. However, councils need a long-term solution. How we fund social care, as well as how we protect individuals from huge care costs, must be outlined in the forthcoming social care Green Paper. Above all, if system reform is to be successfully implemented, then councils need to be at the heart of change.”