The Telegraph published our joint letter with ADASS, LGA and SOLACE this morning, ahead of the Care Bill second reading in Parliament this afternoon. The letter calls on the Government to support our joint amendment to the Bill, tabled by Paul Burstow, which aims to ensure monitoring of investment.
SIR – Not only has care been chronically underfunded, but there is a £135 million shortfall in new money being given to councils to implement the Care Bill, which enters its final stages in Parliament this week. Better Care Fund money earmarked for joint work between health and social care will instead be spent on introducing carers’ assessments, implementing safeguarding boards, and setting new eligibility criteria. Therefore, the legislation could end up being funded from money otherwise used for acute services.
In the period of the current Parliament, local government’s core funding will fall by 40 per cent, so councils have to cut £20 billion in spending. As a result, councils have had to reduce adult social care budgets by £2.68 billion. Although local authorities have limited the impact on the essential care services that people rely on, these services will inevitably suffer.
We urge the Government to support a joint amendment that will give the Care and Support Reform Programme Board – comprised of local government, the care sector and the Department of Health – the opportunity to say whether the money being made available is the right amount to implement the provisions of this Bill.
Cllr Katie Hall
Chairman, Local Government Association’s Community and Wellbeing Board
Chairman, Care and Support Alliance
Dr Jo Farrar
Lead on health and social care, Solace