Govt social care plans lack appropriate funding for its ambitions, says think tank
Social care minister Gillian Keegan claimed yesterday that the government’s new white paper on adult social care provides an “ambitious 10-year vision”.
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of the Local Government Information Unit LGIU” said: “After waiting so long for the Social Care White Paper, expectations were inevitably high but does it live up to them?
“On the positive side, it does engage with the scale and nature of the problem and it does set out an ambitious agenda over ten years.
“Many of the issues we have highlighted at LGIU over the past decade are addressed: the need to build career pathways and to improve conditions for the care workforce; the need for more effective outcome based commissioning; better use of technology and of data to monitor and deliver care; the need for more effective market making in social care; and the role for councils in signposting people towards information and advice.
“It’s good to see local authorities placed front and centre and to see the clear links made with other local services, especially housing.
“Much of the debate about social care has centred on funding and it’s also good to see that this White Paper is fully engaged with how care is delivered and what good quality care looks like.
“But many key questions remain unanswered. How will the good intentions in the White Paper be translated into actionable plans? How much can be achieved unless care is put on a more equal footing with health and how is this to be done (we await the Integration White Paper)?
“And money, or the lack of it, can’t be ignored. How much of the funding allocated in this White Paper is new? Not much. Is it enough to achieve the vision the White Paper sets out? Almost certainly not.
“Social care reform has been an increasingly urgent issue for at least ten years. This White Paper is a step in the right direction, though we could question whether it’s a step that could have been taken sooner. There’s still a very long way to go.”
The LGIU is a think tank and membership body with over 300 councils and other organisations subscribing to its networks.
They say they “work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services”.