The King's Fund responds to the 2018 Budget

2 Nov 2018 10:14 AM

Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, responding to this week’s Budget

'The social care system cannot continue to get by on last-minute, piecemeal funding announcements. Adult social care in England needs at least £1.5 billion more per year simply to cope with demand, meaning that the funding announced this week – which will also need to cover children's social care – falls far short. This highlights the need for a long-term plan for how social care will be funded and structured so that it can meet increasing demand. Successive governments have dodged tough decisions on social care and the forthcoming Green Paper must now ensure social care gets the long-term plan it so desperately needs.

'Two billion pounds for mental health confirms the early signals that this would be a key priority for the forthcoming NHS long-term plan. But years of underfunding have taken their toll and this is no more than a small step on the road to parity of esteem. Mental health services need more than money to meet demand. A chronic shortage of mental health staff means that, despite the new funding, the service won’t improve until the government and the NHS provide a plan to increase the workforce.'

Notes to editors

The Chancellor announced £650 million extra funding for social care in 2019/20, of which only £240 million is ring-fenced for adult social care. The remaining £410 million can be spent on either adult social care or children’s services.

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.