Social care funding and mental health

Centre for Mental Health | September 2019 | Social care funding and mental health

The latest policy briefing from the Centre for Mental Health looks at what a fair and sustainable funding settlement for social care needs to look like in order to deliver parity of esteem for mental health and sufficient funding to support people of working age as well as those in later life.

In their latest briefing, the Centre for Mental Health look at what a fair and sustainable funding settlement for social care needs to look like in order to deliver equity of esteem for mental health and sufficient funding to support people of working age as well as those in later life.

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Social care funding and mental health
 reviews the current funding and provision of mental health social work for people of working age in England. It finds that mental health social work has a vital role in helping people to live independently and to secure their rights and dignity. Local authorities also support carers and commission advocacy services, including for people subject to the Mental Health Act

The briefing concludes that the new settlement for social care must therefore:
• Provide parity of esteem for mental health with other social service functions
• Secure fair funding for people of working age
• Resolve the confusion between health, housing and social care funding for people
with ongoing care needs
• Enable local councils to invest for the future in their workforce and their community(Source: Centre for Mental Health).

Social care funding and mental health

Download the briefing here 

What should be done to fix the crisis in social care?

This ‘long read’ sets out five messages for government about priorities and options for social care reform in England, based on an assessment of the evidence and analysis of the costs of reform.  It focuses primarily on changes to the funding system rather than other policy questions such as the relationship between the NHS and social care | The Health Foundation

This analysis from the Health Foundation sets out five priorities for the new government for social care:

  • To stabilise the current social care system, which is at risk of collapse. The Health Foundation estimates this would cost £4.4bn by 2023/24. In 2020/21, this would cost £1bn.
  • To protect individuals against unfair and catastrophic care costs. A range of approaches could be used here. The Health Foundation recommends a Dilnot-style model where the government can set the maximum amount individuals would be required to pay over their life time. An approach whereby the maximum cost was capped at £46,000 would cost government an additional £3.1bn per annum by 2023/24.
  • To increase eligibility and access to social care. To reinstate levels of access to 2010 levels would cost an additional £8.1bn, according to Health Foundation analysis.
  • To see the capped cost model as a flexible approach to reform. The principle of a cap on care costs was included in the 2014 Care Act and could be put in place without new legislation.
  • To explore a range of options for raising revenue. After a decade of austerity in public finances, cutting other services to pay for social care is not feasible or desirable. Increases in tax revenue is likely to be needed, although borrowing could also play a part.

Full detail: What should be done to fix the crisis in social care? Five priorities for government

See also: Press release: New government must act to end the shameful policy failure at the heart of adult social care

King’s Fund: A short history of social care funding reform in England: 1997 to 2019

The King’s Fund | July 2019 | A short history of social care funding reform in England: 1997 to 2019

Since the 1990s, funding for social care has been widely seen to be unfair, and successive governments have attempted to reform the overall approach to funding adult social care but without success. The King’s Fund outline the history of the past 22 years of attempts to reform how social care funded (Source: The King’s Fund).

See The King’s Fund for the timeline

Why a “risk pool” must underpin a social care system

Nuffield Trust | July 2019 | Why a “risk pool” must underpin a social care system

A new publication from the Nuffield Trust looks at the social care system, in the one-page document the think-tank explains why it thinks relying on individual funding options is unlikely to provide a viable basis for the system. 

Read the briefing  Why a “risk pool” must underpin a social care system

Social Care Funding

Social Care Funding: Time To End A National Scandal | Economic Affairs Committee

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Image source: publications.parliament.uk

This report finds that publicly funded social care support is shrinking, as diminishing budgets have forced local authorities to limit the numbers of people who receive public funding. Funding is £700 million lower than 2010/11 in real terms, despite continuing increases in the numbers of people who need care.

The report recommends that the Government immediately spends £8 billion to restore social care to acceptable standards and then introduces free personal care over a period of five years.

Key conclusions and recommendations

  • The Government must increase funding by £8 billion to restore levels of quality and access to those observed in 2009/10. This should be its top priority.
  • The Government should introduce a basic entitlement to publicly funded personal care for individuals with substantial and critical levels of need. Accommodation costs and the costs of other help and support should still be incurred by the individual. The Health Foundation and the King’s Fund estimate this would cost £7 billion if introduced in 2020/21.
  • To avoid catastrophic accommodation costs, the Government should also explore a cap on accommodation costs.
  • The Government should adopt a staged approach to providing the additional funding recommended by this report. It should immediately invest £8 billion in adult social care, then introduce free personal care over the next five years. Free personal care should be available universally by 2025/26.
  • Additional funding should be provided as a government grant, distributed directly to local authorities according to an appropriate national funding formula which takes into account differences between local authorities in demand for care and ability to raise funds from local taxation.
  • Funding social care should be approached in the same way as any other funding pressure. We recommend that social care is funded largely from general taxation.

Full report: Social care funding: time to end a national scandal

See also: Act now on social care crisis, Lords report tells Government

Have cuts to public spending on social care for older people led to more emergency hospital admissions?

The Strategy Unit | May 2019 | Have cuts to public spending on social care for older people led to more emergency hospital admissions?

New research conducted by The Strategy Unit investigated the extent to which reductions in social care spend on older people, following the 2008 financial crisis, led to increases in emergency hospital admissions. 

The researchers found no evidence to support the view that reductions in government spend on social care since 2008 have led to increases in emergency hospital admissions in older people.

The Strategy Unit Have cuts to public spending on social care for older people led to more emergency hospital admissions?