Older person’s charity Independent Age has described today’s expected announcement of £240 million for social care as “woefully inadequate”.
Director of policy, George McNamara, said: “The social care budget has been cut by the equivalent of over £2 million a day since 2010, so this announcement simply rolls back cuts over the past four months. This announcement is a headline-grabbing gesture, but in reality it is woefully inadequate to address the long-term funding crisis in social care.”
The pledge by the health secretary, which will be made at the Conservative party conference today, aims to support social care packages that support the NHS this winter.
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock will say: “We will use this money to get people… back home, back into their communities, so we can free up those vital hospital beds and help people who really need it get the hospital care they need.”
The Conservatives said the cash boost for councils would allow local authorities to buy more than 71,500 domestic care packages or more than 86,000 so-called “reablement” packages – a short-term form of intervention designed to support a care user’s independence.
But McNamara says that Introducing free personal care for all older people is the best way to tackle the funding crisis in social care, and maybe even prevent hospital admissions.
He said: “The government needs to face up to its responsibility to millions of older people and their families and put in place… sustainable funding, that will allow local authorities and providers to put in place a skilled workforce and high-quality services that meet demand for care services now and in the future.”
The LGA warned earlier this year that adult social care services face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025 just to maintain existing standards of care.