Laura Sharman 05 August 2022

Majority of lead members call for delay to social care reforms

Majority of lead members call for delay to social care reforms image
Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

The majority of senior councillors are worried social care reforms will make council services worse rather than better, according to the results of a new survey.

The survey of lead members for adult care by the Local Government Association (LGA) found councils are becoming increasingly concerned about the capacity and financial resources required to deliver the Government’s reform agenda.

It found that 86% are calling for the reforms to be delayed, warning they are unable to deliver the changes within the current climate and to the current timescale.

Cllr David Fothergill, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board said: 'The reforms to the sector as they currently stand will make services worse rather than better if pushed through without the correct time and resource.

'Our survey found that 86% of lead members think that some or all the reforms should be delayed, and in response to these findings we have written to the secretary of state with our requests of reasonable adjustments to the timetable of implementation and to stress the unavoidable relationship between unfunded reforms and increased pressure on an already over-stretched system.'

The LGA has previously warned that underfunded reforms run the serious risk of exacerbating significant ongoing financial and workforce pressures.

A survey by ADASS this week found almost 300,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their needs by social workers. The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee have also said the Government is not even close to ‘rescuing’ social care.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: 'Our reforms are vital to protect people from unpredictable social care costs, and we are working with local authorities, care providers and other stakeholders – including the Local Government Association – to support their implementation and delivery to the timelines already set out.

'Six trailblazer local authorities will implement charging reform early, giving us an opportunity to learn lessons and provide a smooth transition when changes are rolled out nationally in October 2023.'

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