New PM urged to remedy social care funding

Stacks of coins

A coalition representing the nation’s health and care organisations has called on Theresa May to urgently address the chronic underfunding of adult social care services.

Calling it “an issue of national concern”, the organisations warn of “worrying consequences for the NHS and older and disabled people” if left unchecked.

The stark warning comes in a letter published in the Sunday Express on 17 July, signed by the heads of the NHS Confederation, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care Providers Alliance, and the Care and Support Alliance.

Cutting services, reducing budgets

In it, the organisations say: “After six years of austerity, funding cuts will now start to hit older and disabled people.

“At least a quarter of savings will be found through cutting services and reducing budgets. That's anything from closing day centres to carrying out fewer home visits.

“Councils have worked hard to protect budgets. However, with more needing support and increasingly complex needs, fewer are getting help and councils are having to make cuts.”

It goes on to say: “A proposed solution giving councils the option to add two per cent to council tax to spend exclusively on adult care services didn’t come close to covering the cost of the new National Living Wage.

The letter concludes: “Adult social care must be properly funded. Unless the government addresses the chronic underfunding, there will be worrying consequences for the NHS and older and disabled people.“

Read the letter in full.

Increased pressure

It comes days after the results of an ADASS survey were published, which found that adult social care services are facing a £940 million shortfall to keep services operating at last year’s levels.

The poll also showed that 85 per cent of directors of social services agreed that one of the negative consequences of budget cuts was the NHS being put under increased pressure.

The NHS Confederation continues to work on behalf of its members to secure a sustainable settlement for health and care services.

The letter

Dear Sir,

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services published a survey confirming what we’ve all been fearing – we’re now at a tipping point where adult social services are now in jeopardy. 

Councils continue to face significant funding cuts and directors need to save nearly a billion pounds this year, seven per cent of their budgets. 

After six years of austerity, funding cuts will now start to hit older and disabled people. 

At least a quarter of savings will be found through cutting services and reducing budgets. That's anything from closing day centres to carrying out fewer home visits.

Councils have worked hard to protect budgets. However, with more needing support and increasingly complex needs, fewer are getting help and councils are having to make cuts. 

A proposed solution giving councils the option to add two per cent to council tax to spend exclusively on adult care services didn’t come close to covering the cost of the new National Living Wage. 

Adult social care must be properly funded. Unless the government addresses the chronic underfunding, there will be worrying consequences for the NHS and older and disabled people. 

This is an issue of national concern and one that we would urge the new Prime Minister to look at urgently.

Harold Bodmer, 
President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Frank Ursell MBE
Chair, Care Provider Alliance

Vicky McDermott
Chair, Care and Support Alliance

Stephen Dalton
Chief Executive, NHS Confederation

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