Adult social care reforms ‘underfunded’ – survey

Councils do not have confidence that sufficient funding has been earmarked by government for reforms of adult social care, according to an LGA survey.

The survey, of senior councillors responsible for adult social care, found that 98 per cent of respondents felt funding was insufficient, while three-quarters were not confident they will have the required capacity among frontline staff to deliver the reforms.

Of the £36 billion the new UK-wide health and social levy will raise over the next three years, only £5.4 billion is ringfenced for social care reforms in England. 

These include the introduction of a ‘fair rate of care’ that councils will pay providers, and tackling the issue of self-funders paying more for their care than those who access support at the council rate.

The underfunded reforms will exacerbate significant ongoing financial and workforce pressures, including significant vacancy rates across the sector. 

These have already led to more than 500,000 people waiting for an assessment, care or care reviews – up from just under 400,000 in November. 

Survey respondents also expressed concerns that other council services may be negatively impacted to make up for the shortfall.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “This survey lays bare the huge concerns of councils that the Government’s charging reforms are significantly underfunded. 

“This has the potential to tip councils over the financial edge.

“Underfunding these reforms will only exacerbate pre-existing significant pressures, which the reforms – and the funding for them – do nothing to address. 

“These include unmet and under-met need, greater strain on unpaid carers, and increased waiting times for assessments and delivery of care packages.”


Local net zero: an indispensable goal

Population planning