Sector responds to Spending Round

September 5, 2019

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid has announced the amount of money dedicated to social care in his Spending Round this week.

In his speech, Mr Javid recognised the need for a well-funded and successful social care sector. He stated, 'We can’t have an effective health service without an effective social care system, too.

'The Prime Minister has committed to a clear plan to fix social care, and give every older person the dignity and security that they deserve. So I can announce today that councils will have access to new funding of £1.5bn for social care next year.'

The sector has welcomed this money, but is keen for it to reach the services that need it and many say that it still does not go far enough.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England

'If the Chancellor had neglected social care in his Comprehensive Spending Review, it would have morphed into an incomprehensive spending review, as it is essential to set the books straight for social care. This money is extremely welcome but it must reach the front line.

'In an integrated health and social care system, which the Government aspires to, it is right that social care is allocated a greater share of the joint resources. Our latest research demonstrates that some 30 councils are paying providers less than £500 per week for residential care. Such dismally low fee levels barely allow many providers to fulfill their minimum statutory obligations, let alone invest the necessary resources to ensure the longer-term stability of their organisations. Thus, our representations to the Treasury made clear that low levels of funding are one key component of why many providers are currently being forced to close their services.'

Julie Ogley, President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)

'At first glance this appears to offer clarity for next year so that decisions can be made about which services can continue and how the workforce is sustained. We recognise this as a positive first step that ADASS and those of us who are older or disabled, those who are carers and those who deliver care will welcome.

'It is not as much as we and others have set out is needed and we will want to understand the detail including how this fits with other funding for local government and the NHS. We look forward to working with the Government, with those across parliament, partners across the sector, and with those people who need care and support to take forward longer-term funding reform and to develop a social care long term plan.'

Councillor David Williams, Chairman-elect, County Councils Network, and Leader of Hertfordshire County Council

'Today’s announcement by the Chancellor of new funding for councils is hugely significant and very welcome. Throughout the summer, the County Councils Network (CCN) has been at the forefront of calls for extra resource for local authorities, and had made a compelling case for the urgency of new funding in the short-term and for the continuation of essential grant funding, including the £2.5bn for social care.

'We are pleased that the Government has listened to our calls for a funding boost and the additional £1bn for social care, coupled with council tax flexibilities, and £700m for special educational needs, will give councils some real breathing space over the next 18 months and will allow us to protect vital services for our communities that otherwise would have been left with a question mark hanging over them.

'It is very pleasing that temporary grants, which CCN campaigned to be retained, have now been continued and baselined into council funding. We also await further details on how additional resources announced will be distributed between councils, but we are confident that the Government will ensure that county authorities receive allocations that recognise they face the largest funding gap and have been historically underfunded.

'Although this short-term funding is extremely welcome, the long-term challenge remains considerable. As our research shows, councils will face a funding gap of around £7bn by 2024/25 and there remains uncertainty over the future of the Fair Funding Review. We will seek to work with ministers and build on this year’s funding settlement to secure medium-term financial certainty, a long-term funding solution to social care, and crucially, a cast-iron commitment to the implementation of the Fair Funding Review in 2021/22.'

Genevieve Edwards, Director of External Affairs, MS Society

'The new money for social care is a stopgap measure that will just paper over the cracks. Until we see a long-term funding solution, people with MS will continue struggling without basic care to eat, wash or dress. While there are no more planned welfare cuts next year, the support people have already lost from PIP continues to have a devastating impact, costing the Government more than they save – so it makes no financial sense to keep denying this support...

'Both social care and disability benefits are vital lifelines that must be a priority for the Government.'

Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive, VODG

'The funding of social care is a long story of sustained political failure to invest. The Chancellor’s commitments today represent no more than a small step forward. To deliver a meaningful solution will require political nerve and insight which to date has not been evident.'

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire

'The additional £1bn pledged for social care, on top of the £500m from social care precepts, will help a system at breaking point. But we all need to recognise it only buys time and does not fix the problem. With demand set to rise by almost 4% a year, this will not provide relief for long. The Prime Minister promised to fix social care and those of us whose lives depend on decent care – approximately half of whom are working-age disabled adults – need him to keep his promise and deliver fair, long-term sustainable reforms as a matter of urgency....

'We desperately need our political leaders of all parties do their duty now by working closely with disabled people to find a real solution. Brexit may seem all-encompassing, but the social care timebomb is ticking.'

Billy Davis, Public Affairs and Policy Manager, Hft

'The Chancellor’s pledge of an additional £1.5bn for adult and children’s social care over the next year falls woefully short of the estimated £3bn needed to keep a financially sustainable footing for the adult social care sector alone.

'With the Prime Minister announcing Theresa May’s planned green paper on social care will be replaced by his own white paper, the publication of which has been delayed, this additional funding feels like a short-term solution to an ongoing problem.'

Niall Dickson, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation

'These are sticking plaster solutions...Funding still falls short in key areas, including capital investment, social care and public health...

'The £1.5bn of extra funding for councils to cover social care is a start but it’s barely enough to enable local social care services to limp on for another year. This hand-to-mouth existence falls well short of what is needed to ensure thousands of vulnerable people, who are not getting the support they need, are cared for. The fact that £500m of this is dependent on precepts is also disappointing: this risks penalising less affluent areas, where it is much harder to raise funds in this way.'

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society

'We’re disappointed that the Government hasn’t done enough today to deliver the change so desperately needed by people with dementia and their families. Our pleas for an NHS Dementia Fund have yet to become funding commitments, despite the backing of hundreds of MPs and over 100,000 campaigners in the letter the Prime Minister received on Monday. £1bn can only stave off the utter collapse of our social care system, neglected by successive Governments for so long.

'On Monday, the Prime Minister assured us that he will sort out dementia care, once and for all. He agreed that people with dementia must be treated the same as those with other health conditions. We now need to see concrete plans for reform that address the unfair and catastrophic care costs for people with dementia, and the daily battle that they and their families face to get the care and support they so badly need.'

Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK

'The Government’s proposed £1.5bn injection for our social care services is a much-needed step in the right direction and will help stabilise the current system which has undergone years of under-investment.

'However, this money will be a short-term sticking plaster if the Government does not swiftly set out sustainable and effective plans to reform our social care system in the longer term. Until these reforms are laid out millions of unpaid carers and the people they support will continue to face exhaustion, financial hardship, isolation, and poor physical and mental health.

'Investing in our social care system and supporting England's 5.4 million unpaid carers who prop it up go hand in hand. While we would have liked the Chancellor to acknowledge unpaid carers directly, we look forward to understanding the detail and working across Parliament to develop social care reform that has carers at its heart.'

For the full Spending Round speech, visit the website. The Spending Round document is also available.

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