Underfunding of social care will continue to impact on NHS

Responding to growing pressure on NHS accident and emergency services, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“The LGA has long warned that the health and social care system is chronically underfunded. It is social care services that support elderly and vulnerable people to maintain their independence, live in their own community and stay out of hospital longer, which is why investing in social care is a crucial part in alleviating the pressures on the health service. Investing extra money in the NHS while forcing councils to cut their social care budgets is simply a false economy and will not solve this ever-growing problem.

“The current care system is in crisis and unless adult social care is urgently put on a sustainable footing the situation is set to get even worse over next two years, and undoubtedly continue to have a knock-on effect on vital NHS services. We simply cannot wait any longer for this to be fixed.

“The combined pressures of insufficient funding, growing demand, escalating costs and a 40 per cent cut to local government budgets across this Parliament mean that despite councils’ best efforts they are having to make tough decisions about the care services they can provide, potentially leaving the most vulnerable members of our communities at risk of losing essential care.

“It’s not enough to keep plastering over the cracks. Government needs to invest money in protecting a system which will be there to look after people in the future and not just in the immediate term. This will only be achieved through a determined effort from councils, the health service and government working together.

“We need a care system that is fit for the 21st century and it must be a shared ambition between councils and their health partners. If social care continues to be inadequately funded, this will tip some services into failure and leave the most vulnerable members of communities at risk of losing essential care.”