ADASS PRESIDENT DAVID Pearson said: “We welcome today’s National Audit Office report on the Better Care Fund (BCF) which raises some important issues for the future about how large scale changes in health and care are to be led nation-wide.
“ADASS believes that the most effective way of delivering such change is by enabling local services to work closely with their communities. Transforming services for the increasing number of people who have substantial health and social care need cannot be achieved from one central point. Given that the report has identified the way objectives changed during the whole BCF process, it would have helped if central government had been clearer from the outset about what the intended outcomes were to be.
“This initiative comes at a time when needs are rising while funding is falling. The funding brought together in the Better Care Fund was already committed to local services – it is not new money. The report refers to the `bold assumptions’ about savings and that the biggest risk area is social care funding – funding which has been required to save 26 per cent of social care budgets over the last four years.
“We support the overall objectives of the BCF in joining up services: this is clearly and demonstrably better for the people who need them. We do, however, require a longer term plan to ensure sustainable health and care services, funded adequately to meet the increased demands.”