Dan Peters 19 September 2018

Whitehall demands in-year cuts to improvement programme

The sector’s ability to respond to crises such as a care provider failure could be hit after Whitehall demanded cuts to a key improvement programme, senior councillors have been warned.

A report to a Smith Square meeting last week revealed that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had asked for in-year savings to the care and health improvement programme (CHIP).

The request for a £660,000 saving to the £7.75m grant comes with the department already expected to reduce annual funding for CHIP to £6.9m as part of a three-year funding agreement.

A response to the department’s request has yet to be worked out, leaving numerous unanswered questions about the future of CHIP.

The report read: ‘Identification of potential savings for DHSC has caused uncertainty about future activities and proved unsettling for staff.

'Steps are in place to mitigate the reputational risk to the programme with councils as the programme withdraws from pledged support, but this cannot be negated.'

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