Emergency funding is urgent for adult social care, says London Councils

Boroughs in the capital have warned adult social care should expect a ‘very challenging winter’ amid concerns pressures will have on London’s health and care system.

The cross-party London Councils is requesting funding to boost their adult social care provision which it argues is essential for maintaining NHS performance during winter months.

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While London Councils welcomes the recent announcement of a £500m adult social care discharge fund for local authorities across England, there remains uncertainty over how much of this will be distributed directly to councils.

Around 150,000 Londoners receive adult social care support from their local authority and London boroughs spend over £2bn on the sector annually.  

However, London Councils outlines that boroughs are facing finance pressures across all their service areas of up to £400m this year, resulting in a rise of over £700m in 2023.

According to London boroughs, funding is urgent for adult social care services and the NHS to respond quickly to residents’ needs – particularly in keeping people out of hospital and freeing up beds.

The cross-party group is also looking to delay planned reforms of adult social care funding.

Although the government intends to introduce a new adult social care charging framework in October 2023, which includes changes designed to cap personal costs and increase eligibility for support, boroughs state the care sector needs longer to prepare.

Authorities in the capital are requesting the framework is delayed until 2024, once the experience of ‘trailblazer’ local authorities piloting the changes has been assessed.

Cllr Nesil Caliskan, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Care said: ‘We’re deeply concerned about the impact of worsening financial pressures on London’s adult social care sector.

‘Adult social care plays a vital role in supporting older and disabled Londoners, but also in ensuring the smooth-running of London’s NHS.

‘We were pleased to see the government announce the £500m adult social care discharge fund, but we need urgent clarity on what extra resources are coming to councils to bolster services this winter.

‘Looking to next year and beyond, the current timetable for reforming adult social care funding looks increasingly unrealistic and risks destabilising services already under immense pressure.’

Photo by Ugur Akdemir


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