Martin Ford 01 December 2021

Social care White Paper ‘set up to fail’

Social care White Paper ‘set up to fail’ image

The local government sector has praised the ambition of the long-awaited adult social care reform White Paper, but warned it will not succeed without funding to meet current demand.

Today’s White Paper details how the previously-announced £1.7bn for improvements to the care system will be allocated over the next three years.

An initial £70m has been provided to ‘assist local authorities’ and make improvements to services while £30m will be allocated to ‘help local areas innovate’.

The largest allocation is £500m for staff training and wellbeing, which will include a new knowledge and skills framework.

Another £300m has been put aside for housing, including supported accommodation, on top of a new support service to make minor repairs and changes in peoples’ homes to help them live independently.

The paper also devotes £150m to technology and digitisation, and £25m to support unpaid carers.

Allocation of the remaining £1.7bn will be confirmed 'in due course’.

As previously announced, the reforms are part of a ten-year plan and will be funded through a health and social care levy expected to raise £5.4bn for adult social care reform over the next three years.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘This ten-year vision clearly lays out how we will make the system fairer and better to serve everyone - from the millions of people receiving care to those who are providing it.’

However, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr David Fothergill, warned ‘public expectations will be unfairly raised’ by the paper.

He said: ‘We need to balance the aspirations and expectations set out in this paper against the wider reality of the funding backdrop against which councils and care providers are operating, which is insufficient to meet current and rising demand.

‘Unless these can be urgently addressed as an immediate priority, any long-term proposals for social care – including those in the White Paper backed by funding to kick-start change and innovation – will be set up to fail.'

Care England chief executive Martin Green added: ‘Delivering this White Paper is going to be very difficult because of some of the major challenges facing the care sector.’

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