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?

 

 

Fixing the Care Crisis

Centre for Policy Studies | April 2019 | Fixing the Care Crisis

The paper argues the best model for social care, is the pension system – a guarantee
of a reasonable universal safety net, but with extra individual provision encouraged on top. It is simple to grasp, fair in its operation and solves all of the major problems facing the social care system, as well as those other areas it impacts.

The paper outlines:

  • The Trouble with Social Care
  • The Universal Care Entitlement
  • The Care Supplement
  • Reducing the Cost of Care and Improving its Quality

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Fixing the Care Crisis proposes a range of alternatives to fill the immediate funding gap, including taxing the winter fuel allowance; diverting savings from the Spending Review; and as a last resort imposing a 1% National Insurance surcharge on those over 50 in exchange for a guarantee that their personal finances will not be exhausted by
the costs of social care, and that they will be looked after whatever their condition. (Source: Centre for Policy Studies)

Fixing the Care Crisis 

 

Digital tool to help reduce avoidable lengthy stays in hospital

NHS England | April 2019 | Digital tool to help reduce avoidable lengthy stays in hospital

A new digital tool has been developed to enable staff to easily identify care homes that have spaces for patients, this will save hours spent phoning to determine if there is availability.

The new portal, being introduced by councils and the NHS, will mean that patients who require a care home placement will be supported to leave hospital sooner.  The tool has been trialled in the North, Devon and Berkshire last year,  with over 6000 care home already signed up to use it and now thousands more can sign up to use it.

The Capacity Tracker- a digital portal- is accessible on any device, and takes care homes just 30 seconds to upload details of their available beds, helping health and social care staff to find the right services for individual patients, including those with dementia or a learning disability.

Further information is available at NHS England 

Social Care Institute for Excellence: Webinar recording: Integrating Better

Social Care Institute for Excellence | March 2019 | Webinar recording: Integrating Better

The purpose of this webinar, recorded on 29 March 2019, has been to introduce a new guide which captures common features of good practice of integration between health, social care and the voluntary and community sector. The guide and associated materials are called Integrating Better: new resources on health and social care integration.

The guide – and the accompanying webinar – covers key topics such as: Leadership for integration; Promoting self-care; Supporting care closer to home; and care and support in a crisis

Webinar recording: Integrating Better

Guide available (requires SCIE registration)

Transforming Children’s Services

Transforming children’s services | Public Accounts Committee

This report looks at the current pressures on children’s social care and what the Department of Education has been doing to make the quality or finances of these services sustainable.

The report concludes that the Department for Education has not done enough and requires a step-change in the understanding of pressures, the reduction of unnecessary variation between areas in their social care activities and the costs of providing them, and greater pace in its work with struggling local authorities.

Full report available here

See also: ‘Children deserve better’ than slow progress on social care

Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2018

Since 1983, NatCen Social Research’s British Social Attitudes survey has asked members of the public in England, Scotland and Wales about their views on the NHS and health and care issues more generally.  Alongside the Nuffield Trust, in this publication the King’s Fund  explores the findings from the 2018 survey.

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Image source: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk

The BSA is a ‘gold standard’ survey and is conducted the same way every year, with the data provideing a rich time trend going back to 1983. This adds a depth and context to the findings that no other measure of NHS satisfaction provides. As a result, when satisfaction changes in the BSA, we are as confident as we can be that it reflects a genuine change in public attitudes.

Key findings

Satisfaction with the NHS overall in 2018

  • Public satisfaction with the NHS overall continued to fall in 2018. Overall satisfaction was 53 per cent – a 3 percentage point drop from the previous year and the lowest level since 2007.
  • Older people were more satisfied than younger people: 61 per cent of those aged 65 and over were satisfied with the NHS compared to 51 per cent of those aged 18–64.
  • Satisfaction levels also differed between supporters of different political parties: 58 per cent of supporters of the Conservative party were satisfied compared to 51 per cent of supporters of the Labour party.
  • The four main reasons people gave for being satisfied with the NHS overall were: the quality of care; the fact that the NHS is free at the point of use; the range of services and treatments available; and the attitudes and behaviour of NHS staff.
  • The four main reasons people gave for being dissatisfied with the NHS overall were: long waiting times; staff shortages; a lack of funding; and money being wasted.

Full detail at The King’s Fund

Full publication: Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2018: Results from the British Social Attitudes survey

See also: