The Local Government Association (LGA) has published its 2016 state of the nation report on adult social care funding, which makes a useful counterpart to the CQC report noted immediately above. The findings are sobering and the forecast is bleak. Since 2010, councils have had a 40% reduction to their core government grant. The LGA estimates that local government faces an overall funding gap of £5.8 billion by 2019/20. Much of the pressure lands on adult social care funding. For councils with adult social care responsibilities, roughly 30-35% of total budget will be spent on adult social care as a minimum. As such, services will have to offer a significant contribution to the council’s full savings requirement to help tackle the overall funding gap.
The report contains a range of interesting views and perspectives from all across the sector, including from local authorities, care providers and service user groups. However, the message that adult social care is underfunded is clear, unanimous and unequivocal. From across the sector, the urgent calls for additional funding are being made loud and clear. Unfortunately, these calls may go unanswered if adult social care is not seen as a priority by the government and the public. A successful solution to this problem will depend in part on raising awareness amongst the public of what social care is, why it matters and why it must be valued as a public priority. For the full report, please see here.