LGA highlights social care funding gap of £4 billion by 2025 as inquiry launches
The Local Government Association (LGA) has responded to the launch of Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry into how much extra money is needed from the government for social care over each of the next five years.
The inquiry into social care funding will seek to establish how much extra money would need to be spent by the government in each of the next five years to counteract the impact of a shortage of care on the NHS.
Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon 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 from leaving the 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 as extra money, we’ll be examining solutions to tackle staffing shortages in social care that would be responsive to workforce changes.”
MPs will also consider shortages in the social care workforce and what solutions need to be found to address changes in the years ahead.
The inquiry comes following the LGA’s new report – The lives we want to lead; towards change, towards hope – sets out the main issues that need to be addressed to ensure that people can live the lives they want to lead, and the kind of action councils want to see from the government.
It includes making the case for the value of social care in its own right; funding to secure the short- to medium-term and pave the way for future reforms and more investment to support prevention and wellbeing.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “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.”
The Health and Social Care Committee is now welcoming short submissions of evidence addressing the following questions from professionals in the sector:
- What impact is the current social care funding situation having on the NHS?
- What level of funding is required in each of the next five years to address this?
- What is the extent of current workforce shortages in social care, how will they change over the next five years, and how do they need to be addressed?