Con­cern for so­cial care

‘Plan and pre­vent’ call as coun­cils face fund­ing gap

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Clemen­tine kather­ine.clemen­tine@trin­i­tymir­

ADULT so­cial care across Lon­don is at ‘risk’ un­less a £2.4 bil­lion fund­ing gap is ad­dressed, says the leader of Hilling­don Coun­cil.

A re­port by Lon­don Coun­cils re­veals that be­tween 2016/17 and 2019/20, Lon­don bor­oughs will face a fund­ing gap of £2.4 bil­lion in their adult so­cial care bud­gets as they deal with in­fla­tion, new bur­dens and the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple qual­i­fy­ing for state-funded care.

Coun­cils in­creas­ingly have to fo­cus re­sources on im­me­di­ate statu­tory so­cial care needs, putting preven­tion ser­vices at risk.

Cllr Ray Pud­di­foot, in his role as Lon­don Coun­cils’ ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for adult so­cial care, said: “Bor­oughs are tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for ar­rang­ing care for peo­ple who need sup­port and are work­ing to pre­vent health is­sues from be­com­ing more se­ri­ous.

“But fund­ing con­straints could see coun­cils fo­cus­ing more on es­sen­tial statu­tory du­ties and meet­ing ur­gent needs at the ex­pense of other im­por­tant ser­vices, stor­ing up trou­ble for the fu­ture.”

If the pro­jected £2.4 bil­lion fund­ing short­fall is not ad­dressed, the progress that coun­cils have made in de­liv­er­ing so­cial care ser­vices and man­ag­ing fu­ture de­mand will be put at risk.

Al­ready in 2015/16, in­vest­ment in preven­tion pro­grammes aimed at de­lay­ing and re­duc­ing pres­sure on health and so­cial care ser­vices has dropped by around six per cent.

In Lon­don, the num­ber of adult so­cial care users who are aged 18-64 is set to rise by 60 per cent over the next five years, com­pared to a 40 per cent in­crease in other UK re­gions.

Early in­ter­ven­tion us­ing preven­tion ser­vices could re­duce the like­li­hood of th­ese peo­ple re­quir­ing so­cial care in the fu­ture.

Cllr Pud­di­foot added: “With ad­di­tional Gov­ern­ment sup­port, we can re­duce the pro­jected £2.4 bil­lion fund­ing gap for statu­tory adult so­cial care in Lon­don be­tween now and 2020 and align health and so­cial care more closely to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency and qual­ity of ser­vices.

“This will help bor­oughs and the NHS to trans­form for the bet­ter and man­age de­mand in years to come.”

The re­port also shows that be­tween now and 2020, 60 per­cent of the pro­jected na­tional growth in adults who have learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties will be in Lon­don and 39 per cent of the na­tional in­crease in peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues will be in Lon­don.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit: www.lon­don­coun­cils.

n ADULT SO­CIAL SER­VICES COST: Hilling­don Coun­cil leader Cllr Ray Pud­di­foot says plan­ning and in­vest­ment are needed

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