Blog post 28 June 2017
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, has warned in a BBC report that a “very difficult winter” is on the way.
The reason? Because despite of a £1bn social care cash injection in the Budget, savings still have to be made, according to Association of Directors of Adult Social Services,
And today the BBC is telling the elderly, disabled and frail to expect cuts to care services and rises in charges, following the latest ADASS survey which polled 151 council care chiefs about their plans for 2017-18.
ADASS says £20.8bn was expected to be spent on care this year, a rise of 5 per cent since last year.
I recall blogging that the Budget cash was just a drop in the ocean – it appears I was being perhaps over-generous.
Rising demands for social care services is hard to quantify, but we all know it’s a fact of life and will continue to escalate.
ADASS surveyed 151 council care chiefs about their plans for 2017-18 and the results show £14.2bn of their own council monies will be spent, rising to £20.8bn when the £1bn cash injection – money from the NHS for care projects and the fees users are asked to contribute – are taken into account.
The Beeb reports ADASS is expecting to save some of the savings through improved efficiency, but added those using services – whether in their own homes or in care homes – should still expect those services to be rationed even more.
Some 1 million people rely on council care services, two-thirds of them older people.
I dread to think that the bar of social care could be raised yet again, but I’m sure it will be the case, effectively making it harder for people to access the care they need.
Already the council chiefs have predicted user charges would also rise in some places.
Unbelievably, according to the BBC report: “Care providers – the companies that run care homes and home care services – were also told to expect their fees to be squeezed.”
Surely, with such a forecast the Government will have to intervene.
Successive cuts year on year have yielded £6bn of savings in social care since 2010.
In an interview with the BBC, ADASS president Margaret Wilcox said the system remained on a "cliff edge".
"The need for a long-term solution has never been more urgent or vital.”
In the light of this, frankly, scary report, I really must now ask what is the Government plan? The so-called ‘dementia tax’ has been put to sleep and the Department of Health appears to be silent.
Oh yes . . . the Green Paper to set out perhaps ‘plan B’ for the future funding of social care: Has anyone seen such a document?