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LGA responds to National Audit Office report on personalised commissioning in adult social care
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, LGA Community and Wellbeing spokesperson responds to a National Audit Office report on personalised commissioning in adult social care.
"Personal budgets mean that thousands of people across the country have greater control over how to use the money available for their care and health support, which can give them greater choice and help improve their lives.
"Local authorities have a responsibility to review the social care needs of individuals and this may sometimes mean adjusting personal budgets if a person's abilities have improved, or declined.
"Councils are facing increased funding pressures and are determined to work with individuals and service providers to help people get the support they need.
"While recent measures, such as the ability to raise council tax by 2 per cent to raise money for social care and an extra £1.5 billion for the Better Care Fund by the end of the decade, will go some way to addressing the problems facing adult social care funding, concerns remain that future years will still be extremely challenging. Our recent analysis shows that, for example, council tax rises to pay for social care in 2016/17 will not bring in enough money to alleviate the growing pressure on the vital services caring for our elderly and disabled residents.
"Significant savings will still need to be made, which will further impact on the size of personal budgets. The next two years in particular will be especially tough. Services supporting the elderly and vulnerable are under severe strain and that is why, at the very least, the planned £700 million of new funding from the Better Care Fund should be brought forward to 2016/17 in order to help alleviate growing social care pressures."
1. Council tax rises to pay for social care in 2016/17 will not bring in enough money to alleviate the growing pressure on the vital services caring for our elderly and disabled. LGA research has revealed nine in 10 councils in England are considering or have approved plans to raise £372 million for underfunded social care services in 2016/17 by using new powers to increase council tax by 2 per cent. The majority of this extra income might have to be spent covering the cost to councils of introducing the Government's National Living Wage from April.
The LGA has estimated it would cost England's social care authorities at least £330 million to cover increased costs to home care and residential care providers as a result - http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/7721595/NEWS
2. The 2015 Spending Review announced additional funding for adult social care through the Better Care Fund worth £1.5 billion by 2019/20. £800 million of this will come from planned savings to the New Homes Bonus. The LGA is calling for the amount not dependent on NHB savings - £700 million – to be brought forward to help tackle the pressures facing the sector now. There is currently no additional funding for adult social care via the BCF in 2016/17 and only £105 million planned for 2017/18
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