‘Fair cost of care’ fears

The LGA has reiterated its concerns about inadequate funding for adult social care reforms, in response to the latest government guidance.

The guidance is on the ringfenced £1.36 billion Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund, which is designed to support local authorities to move towards paying social care providers a ‘fair cost of care’.

The guidance states that councils will need to use the funding to carry out ‘cost of care’ exercises, including assessing the various costs care providers face and identifying and increasing rates where a fairer cost of care is needed.

However, the LGA remains concerned that the funding allocated for the Government’s social care reforms “falls far short of needs and will not fully resource councils and providers in delivering the Government’s objectives”.

Specifically in respect of the ‘fair cost of care’ guidance, it notes a lack of longer-term certainty over funding, and that having to provide detailed market sustainability plans will place additional burdens on already overstretched staff.

An LGA spokesperson added: “Adult social care is facing a funding gap for current services, increasing each year due to inflation and other costs even with these reforms fully funded. 

“Without adequate funding, some councils will face a battle to balance budgets, worsening existing pressures and running the serious risk of impacts on the ability to deliver timely and quality care to those who draw on it.”

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