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MPs launch inquiry into social care funding gap

MPs have launched an inquiry to establish how much money the social care sector needs to avoid shortages.

The Health and Social Care Comittee aims to establish how much government will neeed to spend in each of the next five years to counteract the impact of a shortage of care on the NHS.

MPs will also consider shortages in the social care workforce and what steps must be taken to address these.

Health and Social Care Committee Chair Jeremy Hunt MP said: ‘This longstanding crisis comes with a huge cost to families and individuals who can’t get the social care they need.

‘But it affects us all when a lack of availability prevents people leaving hospital, contributing to increased pressure on the NHS.

‘We’ll be establishing an agreed figure that represents the extra funding that’s needed in each of the next five years in order to fix this.

‘As well extra money, we’ll be examining solutions to tackle staffing shortages in social care that would be responsive to workforce changes.’

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, welcomed the inquiry, adding that adult social care services face a funding gap of almost £4 billion by 2025

‘People of all ages should be able to live the lives they want to lead and this inquiry is another important step in building towards a long-term, sustainable funding solution for adult social care.

‘Our own analysis published ahead of this week’s Budget shows that adult social care services face a funding gap of almost £4 billion by 2025, just to cover basic inflationary and demographic pressures.

‘This makes up almost two thirds of the overall funding gap which councils face by the middle of the decade to pay for local services, due to rising cost pressures and unprecedented demand.

‘The Government has the opportunity to take forward the proposals in our new report on the future of care, as it begins talks to build a cross-party consensus on the future of this vital service.

‘We at the LGA are happy to host these talks and play our part in finding a sustainable, long-term solution for adult social care.’

This comes after Matt Hancock asked MPs and Peers to share their ‘views, proposed solutions and concerns’ about reforming the way that people pay for their care.  He said this will be followed by a second phase of ‘structured talks on reform options’ in May.

‘We need to address the injustices within the system and find a balance between people continuing to contribute to their care without having to face catastrophic costs.

‘As we set out in our manifesto, we will seek to build a cross-party consensus so that the reforms we progress will last long into the future, nobody is forced to sell their home to pay for care, and everybody accessing care has safety and security.”

‘Of course, any solution needs to consider the financial impact on taxpayers as a whole, the competing demands on taxpayer’s money from other public services, and how to fund reform on a sustainable basis.’

The committee is inviting members of the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise, to submit suggestions as part of the inquiry.

For more information click here.

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