PQ6. Adult Social Care costs
It has been reported (Local Government Association Daily News 25th November) that:
Councils and care providers have criticised the Government for failing to provide more money in the Autumn Statement to stave off a crisis in adult social care. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said there is a funding gap of at least £2.6 billion by 2020 and services across the country were “at breaking point”. She added: “Extra council tax-raising powers will not bring in enough money to alleviate the pressure on social care and councils will not receive the vast majority of new funding in the Better Care Fund until the end of the decade.”
And the Leader of the Council has said that it was a “missed opportunity” not to address the Health Social Care Crisis whilst the Chief Executive noted that it was disappointing.
How will SCC (along with other Councils and the NHS) address this issue and what additional steps and measures are being considered to provide safe levels of care?
I thank Nigel for his question. He noted that the Leader of the Council called the Autumn Statement “a missed opportunity” and that’s exactly what it was. We have a growing elderly population in Somerset and as that population ages, people live longer with more complex illnesses. Here in Somerset we are engaged in talks with all aspects of the health service to try to mitigate the financial pressures that face many parts of the public sector.
It is not a case of SCC being on its own, we are working with key partners, providers and customers too, as we try to face up with higher demands with less money from central government.
On the agenda today is a paper outlining what might be seen to be part of the solution, the snappily titled “Sustainability and Transformation Plan” or STP, a joint project involving this council, the two district general hospitals, Somerset Partnership Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group. This plan outlines some £400m across the health sector as it tries to come to grips with its financial challenges and promotes a move away from “cure” and instead a new focus on “prevention”. That is at the heart of the proposal.
In terms of the second half of your question, we are not taking any additional steps and measures as you outline as we regard our care provision to already be delivered at a “safe” level.
Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care