Responding to the National Audit Office’s report on the Care Act first phase reforms, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“This report supports what councils have long been warning – that there is a real risk that the Care Act could be underfunded leaving councils exposed to additional and unplanned costs. Unless the Government fully funds all new burdens brought in by the Care Act then vital reforms to improve care and support for the elderly and disabled could be jeopardised.
“Councils are implementing the Care Act at a time when rising demand and escalating costs means that the adult social care system is already under immense stress. While councils have long called for a reform of the care system, and have worked hard to be ready for the Care Act with the support of the LGA through the Programme Management Office, many still have serious concerns about there not being enough money in the system to cover these changes.
“While the Government has committed to monitoring additional costs of the first phase of the Care Act, councils still anticipate it could be underfunded by as much as £50 million. If this is the case, it could leave them without the resources they need to care for the most vulnerable in society. It is vital that the Government works with councils to ensure any increased demand or costs experienced from the changes in the Care Act are fully covered and do not impact on other valued council services.”