Cambridgeshire Council leaders are pushing government for clarity on adult social care funding, with a new report suggesting that £2.4bn of funding is at risk nationally.
The report from the County Council Network highlights how adult social care services provided by county councils are at risk due to an average 39 per cent of the funding from government being temporary.
With no guarantees that the temporary funding will continue for the coming year and beyond, County Councillors are pushing government for the continuation of all existing funding and to provide additional budget to meet growing demand for services.
The report comes at a time when adult social care in Cambridgeshire, like many other areas of the country, is under pressure. This is compounded by Cambridgeshire being the sixth worst funded County Council in the country and also the fastest growing area of the country, including a growth in the population of people aged 80 plus expected to grow by 30% by 2024. Nationally, the increase in estimated spending need across different types of councils in 2020/21 will add a further £652m of costs to councils.
Government grants fund around a third of the Council’s adult social care services, with the remainder funded through core council funding such as Council Tax and charges. Of that government grant funding, 41% is temporary and unconfirmed beyond the current financial year – this is around £18m of the budget for adult social care. The level of unconfirmed government grant is increasing each year, adding uncertainty into the Council’s budget.
To meet the growth in demand for adult social care in the face of a reducing budget, Cambridgeshire County Council is transforming services, focusing on early intervention and prevention to keep people independent for longer so they need less statutory care. This includes using technology to help people stay independent in their own homes, applying the learning from our Neighbourhood Cares pilots in Soham and St Ives to develop local solutions that build on community resources to improve people’s wellbeing and independence and working with health partners to improve delayed transfers of care.
To read the report click here https://www.countycouncilsnetwork.org.uk/download/2397/
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Anna Bailey, Chairwoman of the Adults Committee, said: “It is really important for Councils to be able to plan, however we really are in the dark when it comes to the Government’s intentions regarding adult social care funding. We are successfully transforming our services to manage demand but this can only go so far.
“We’re calling on Government to recognise Cambridgeshire’s unique position as the fastest growing county in the country while also being the sixth worst funded nationally too. This means providing us with clarity about the additional and ongoing funds so we can plan and provide high quality services that residents in Cambridgeshire deserve. Cambridgeshire County Council’s Leader Councillor Steve Count has been working with all the county’s MPs to raise this at the highest levels of Government and we continue to fight for fairer funding.”