Adult social care should receive the same funding increases as the NHS to safeguard London’s future resilience, says the cross-party group London Councils.
London Councils reveal that had adult social care received the same funding increases as the NHS since 2010, an additional £800 million would be available to spend on adult social care across the capital in 2020-21.
Even before Covid, this year London’s adult social care sector faced a funding shortfall of £130 million, which could expand to £600 million by 2025 unless investment is increased.
And, with Covid putting even more strain on services, London boroughs expect to spend around £350 million extra on adult social care in 2020/21 – almost one third of their anticipated additional spending.
Cllr Damian White, London Councils’ executive member for Health and Care said: “Adult social care services have proved themselves essential in supporting so many vulnerable Londoners through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We also know that adult social care plays a crucial role in keeping people out of hospital and relieving pressure on NHS services. The sector is an invaluable part of our health and care system – and that’s why it needs the same funding increases as the NHS.”
However, with social care once again being ‘left out in the cold’ at the recent Spending Review, the long-standing issues of social care funding remain.
Demand for adult social care is increasing rapidly in London, with the capital’s population growing, particularly among groups likely to require social care.
The number of Londoners aged 65 and older is expected to increase by 71 per cent by 2039 – a faster rate than any other region in England – and, in the same time period, the number of Londoners aged 90 and older is set to grow by 156 per cent.
London also has a higher proportion of people of working age needing social care provision.
White adds: “Providing assured, long-term investment in both health and social care is the best way of sustaining services and making sure Londoners receive the support they need in future years.”