I have for years been saying that funding for social care is extremely important, but until recently I feel no one has been listening. That is certainly true about this Government for even now they are not listening and when it comes down to the facts, it is because, in reality, they do not even care.
I therefore support this legal challenge in every aspect.
To remedy the funding situation this Government needs to immediately refund to all Local Authorities (LAs) all the money withheld by Austerity Cuts and fully refund all the COVID costs LAs have had to encounter.
Only then will there be any chance that social care could be improved and in doing so relieve some of the burden the lack of social care has been causing to the NHS and the resulting effects on health care.
But there are also other measures this Government could do, one of which to immediately allow more non-UK citizens the enter the UK so they can be employed in social care for this would go a long way to ensure more persons would be available to work in social care. But also to ensure funding is sufficient to LAs so that care providers can be able to pay their care workers a more reasonable salary, to the extent of at least £14 per hour rather that the current National Living wage of £8.91or even the Real Living wage of £ 9.90 out of London (£11.05 within London).
But others need to be improves which includes
realistic sick pay rates
unsocial hours rates
Social care is just as important as the NHS as both are inter-reliable on each other.
Senior fellow at the King’s Fund analyses what Sajid Javid’s one-year spending review means for adult social care
It is a marker of how complex the funding streams for adult social care have become that it takes a fair bit of work to decipher the effect of last week’s spending round statement.
The statement promises a roll-forward of grants which were due to end this year, along with an additional £1bn grant (for both adults and children), £500m of spending power through an extension of the social care precept and confirmation that the minimum clinical commissioning group (CCG) contribution to the Better Care Fund will increase by 3.4% in real terms.
Overall – dependent on local decisions taken by councils – we estimate that amounts to growth of about £1bn for adult social care. That’s obviously welcome but it is around the minimum required to patch things over until 2021, given that demand for adult social care is not static but increases by an average 3.7% a year.
Nor does the nature of the funding alleviate any of the fundamental problems facing the sector. In fact, in some ways it entrenches them.
The social care precept is a fundamentally regressive funding mechanism, both for the individual paying it and the councils who raise money with it: the local authorities with the highest need have the least capacity to generate income (so it’s critical that the distribution of other social care funds allows for some equalisation between need and spending power).
The extra money via the minimum CCG contribution to the Better Care Fund is welcome but continues to create tensions between local authorities, who have the legal duty to meet social care need, and NHS organisations with often narrower objectives around delayed discharge. And, of course, the joint grant for children’s and adults’ services will continue tensions of a different sort within local authorities as to the most pressing priorities to meet.
Personal health budgets (PHBs) are the NHS equivalent of personal budgets in local authority social care and are designed to give people more choice and control over how their healthcare needs are met and help them to live more independently.
The NHS in England has been targeted with significantly expanding the number of people with PHBs over the next two years and many will have social care needs and so already be known to adult social services. In light of this, it is important for practitioners to understand how PHBs work, including who is entitled to them, how they may interact with social care personal budgets and the role of health professionals in managing them.
PHBs are mainly intended for people with long-term health conditions, complex needs and disabilities, enabling them to live more independently, take control of their own care and support, and improve their chances of staying out of hospital. PHBs were introduced in England – they are not available in Wales – as a mainstream service in 2014, when adults eligible for NHS continuing healthcare and children and young people eligible for continuing care were given the right to have a PHB.
They are designed to be used flexibly, but it should be remembered that PHBs are not new money – they are about using existing resources/budgets in a different way, to enable people to achieve their health and wellbeing outcomes. The service user’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) must grant a request for a PHB unless this is an inappropriate way of providing their healthcare.
Service users with local authority personal budgets who move on to continuing healthcare have sometimes found it easier having a PHB because the NHS then takes funding responsibility for their social care as well as their healthcare needs, which can both be delivered through a PHB.