Autumn Statement Lacks Strategy and Vision for Adult Social Care says Lords Committee

In a letter sent today (Monday 28 November) to Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Steve Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee says that the Autumn Statement leaves many questions unanswered, both in terms of the breakdown of the funding that has been made available, and the Government’s strategy and vision for adult social care.

The letter, which comes in the week before the committee publishes its report, A “gloriously ordinary life”: Spotlight on adult social care, also expresses disappointment that the Autumn Statement made no reference to unpaid carers and asks what targeted support has been made available for those who provide ‘the backbone of our health and social care systems.’

The committee also asks for:
• assurances that planned additional funding raised through increased to Council Tax will be ringfenced for adult social care;
• clarification on the protection made to the £1.7 billion investment in social care pledged by the government in the People at the Heart of Care White Paper;
• clarification on the size and nature of 200,000 more care packages announced in the statement;
• clarification on how the impact of the additional funding will be monitored.

Chair of the Committee, Baroness Andrews said:
“Whilst we welcome the additional £4.7 billion that has been unlocked for social care in the next three years, this falls short of what was recommended to our committee by Mr Hunt himself only a few months ago, when he pointed to the estimate produced by the Health and Social Care Committee, which he Chaired at the time, and indicated the need to provide an additional £7 billion in funding for adult social care in 2023/24.”

Moreover, freezing one area of adult social care policy, much needed and long promised, to pay for other aspects of the service which are underfunded and understaffed, is not the coherent, realistic long term national plan for adult social care which is so urgently needed”.

 

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