Jamie Hailstone 19 July 2016

Cuts have 'exhausted' further efficiencies in social care

Cuts have exhausted further efficiencies in social care image

Council funding cuts have ‘exhausted’ the potential for any more savings in social care, MPs have warned today.

In a new report, the House of Commons’ Health Committee said social care services cannot produce any more efficiency savings with budgets continuing to shrink.

It also warned that people were no longer receiving the care they needed because of a lack of funds, which has resulted in additional costs to the NHS.

Committee chairman Sarah Wollaston warned sustainability and transformation funds were being used to plug deficits rather than to ‘resource essential changes to the health and social care system’.

A spokeswoman for the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said the report showed services are having to be cut because 'the money for them simply isn’t there’.

She added: ‘Councils already need nearly £1bn more funding this year just to deliver services at the same level as last year so we echo the committee’s concern that desperately needed additional funding will not arrive until the end of the decade.’

The director of the County Councils’ Network, Simon Edwards, said bringing the money for the Better Care Fund forward would ‘give councils a fighting change during this difficult period’.

A Department of Health spokesman said it rejected the report’s conclusions.

‘As the chief executive of NHS England said at the time of the Spending Review, we actively supported the NHS’ own plan for the future with the £10bn extra requested despite the public finances being tight,’ added the spokesman.

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Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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