The Government has set out a 10-year vision for adult social care in England, in a long-awaited white paper.
‘People at the heart of care’ aims to ensure that everyone has choice, control and support to live independently, that adult social care provides quality and tailored care and support, and that it is fair and accessible.
The LGA said the white paper sets out a positive vision for social care, but needs to balance its aspirations and expectations with the wider reality of insufficient funding to meet current and rising demand.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “This much-anticipated white paper sets out a positive vision for the future of adult social care and it is right that it has been co-produced with and alongside people who draw on care and support.
“While councils share the Government’s ambition and want nothing more than to deliver it, they will need a substantially bigger share of the new Health and Social Care Levy for that to happen. Addressing unmet and under-met need, tackling rising pressures, retaining hard-working care staff, and investing more in prevention are all areas that need investment now if we are to significantly bolster core services. Unless these can be urgently addressed as an immediate priority, any long-term proposals for social care – including those in the white paper – will be set up to fail because core services themselves will not be available or sustainable.
“Questions also remain about whether the funding allocated for the various major charging reforms, including for the introduction and running of the care cost cap and councils paying providers a ‘fair rate of care’, will be enough.
“Funding shortfalls impact directly on those who draw on care and support now, as well as those who will do so in future. The Government has been ambitious with its vision and now needs to match this ambition with the necessary funding to turn it into reality.”