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Council takes steps to improve adult social care despite damaging government delay on reforms

18 November 2022

The Chair of the Adults and Health Committee is reassuring local people that plans are underway to meet the challenges facing adult social care, despite the government announcing a delay on reforms in the Autumn Statement.

Part of these reforms included the lifetime cap on social care costs in England due in October 2023, which will now be delayed by at least two years.

As part of the announcement, the government has also confirmed that funding has been set aside for these reforms in 2023-24 and 2024-25 and will be paid to local authorities (£1.3bn in 2023-24 and £1.9bn in 2024-25) to fund increased costs councils are facing. This falls a long way short of the £3.7 billion identified by the County Council Network as required to just stand still and cover the additional inflationary and demand costs already hitting adult social care services this year and next. Councils do not know how much each council will receive.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Richard Howitt, Chair of the Adults and Health Committee said: “I want to reassure local people that the Joint Administration takes the improvement of adult social care services very seriously and it continues to be our key priority to make a more caring Cambridgeshire. We will always seek to help people lead healthy, safe and independent lives, which is what matters the most to all of us.

“We wanted the government to delay by 12 months to give the much-needed reforms the time to be properly planned and implemented. However, a two-year delay is clearly the government kicking these reforms into the long grass and is unacceptable and deeply disappointing. We are still determined to improve our services and make sure every pound we spend counts. We call on Government to develop a long term and fully funded plan for adult social care.”

  • Cambridgeshire County Council continues to prioritise adult social care and is investing in adult social care in the following ways:
  • Improving staff retention and recruitment in critical areas such as social workers, reablement workers and care home staff
  • Improved access to information and support
  • Developing community focused care such as Care Together and Independent Living Services
  • Technology Enabled Care – using technology to help people remain independent in their own homes
  • Digitisation – the creation of a financial self-assessment tool and an online customer portal

To help with winter pressures, the NHS have also commissioned through the council additional community beds in care homes for health and social care, additional social care and occupational therapy capacity to help people live independently at home and one-to-one support for dementia patients.

Susan van de Van, Joint Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health and Wellbeing Board, added: “We welcome the extra funding, but it falls woefully short of what is needed. The government is short-changing councils and residents when it comes to adult social care services. We will continue to challenge them on funding and workforce development and support for this sector, which is under unprecedented pressure. What is clear is the Government is creating its own perfect storm for adult social care and is increasingly rudderless on its policies. We will continue to fight for fairer funding for the people of Cambridgeshire to help them get the services they deserve.”