£ 870k ex­tra fund­ing for so­cial care

Solihull News - - NEWS - DAVID IR­WIN

AROUND £ 870,000 in ex­tra fund­ing will be made avail­able to shore up Soli­hull’s stretched so­cial care ser­vices.

Min­is­ters had an­nounced last month that they would be re­leas­ing an ad­di­tional £ 240 mil­lion to help coun­cils cope with ex­tra de­mand over the win­ter, and in turn ease the in­tense pres­sure on the NHS.

It has been con­firmed that a to­tal of £ 870,356 had been al­lo­cated to Soli­hull Coun­cil.

Next week, Coun­cil­lor Karen Grin­sell, cabi­net mem­ber for adult so­cial care and health, will be up­dated on plans to start spend­ing the one- off grant “as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

A re­port to be con­sid­ered at Mon­day night’s de­ci­sion ses­sion out­lines pro­pos­als to pump the fund­ing into a num­ber of ini­tia­tives, de­signed to pre­vent bed block­ing and free up space on hos­pi­tal wards.

While the full terms and con­di­tions of the grant had not been con­firmed at the time the doc­u­ment was drafted, of­fi­cers have used the let­ter sent by the Depart­ment for Health and So­cial Care as a ba­sis for their plans.

Caro­line Pot­ter, the coun­cil’s fi­nance man­ager for adult care and sup­port, said: “Of­fi­cers have also en­gaged with the mar­ket about how re­sources can be mo­bilised quickly and ef­fec­tively, to en­sure that pro­pos­als put for­ward are re­al­is­tic and that the lo­cal care mar­ket is ready to de­liver what is needed.”

Given that the six- fig­ure sum is a one- off, the ini­tia­tives have been de­signed so that they won’t add to de­mand once the money has run out.

Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock had said the ex­tra fund­ing would “free up those vi­tal hos­pi­tal beds, and help peo­ple who re­ally need it, get the hos­pi­tal care they need”.

Although there have been con­cerns that, with­out un­der­ly­ing re­form, West­min­ster’s ex­tra in­jec­tions of cash were putting a stick­ing plas­ter on the is­sue.

Last month, the char­ity Age UK said that “govern­ments al­low so­cial care to teeter on the brink, only to bail it out with an emer­gency hand out – just enough to pre­vent to­tal na­tional col­lapse but no more”.

Of­fice‘ rs‘

have also en­gaged with the mar­ket about how re­sources can be mo­bilised quickly. CARO­LINE POT­TER

Coun­cil­lor Karen Grin­sell

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