The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not-for-profit social care has responded to the announcement of an additional £500m to be made available to adult and children’s social care as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-2025.
This additional money will be added to the Social Care Grant and will be confirmed in the Spring Budget, with details in the final local government financial settlement in February. This comes on the back of huge concerns raised by both local government and care providers about underfunding in the provisional local government financial settlement.
Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of NCF commented: “It is positive that the government seems to have listened to the united voices of local government and the social care sector about the drastic consequences of the underfunding facing councils for social care. It is important to note though that the Local Government Association has been clear that there is a £4bn funding gap in local budgets across this year and next – this additional funding, while welcome, doesn’t touch the sides. But there is a more fundamental issue here. The announcement of this emergency funding clearly highlights, yet again, that the partnership between central and local government in relation to social care is broken. We need a significant overhaul of how local government and adult social care are funded to deliver long-term sustainable care and support services to millions of people.
“We have long been arguing for a sustainable funding solution and longer-term vision for social care. The Chancellor must not miss the opportunity in the Spring budget to address these huge funding pressures with the announcement of a sustainable long-term funding solution for care – we simply cannot carry on with short term, emergency injections of funds to cash strapped councils, many of whom seem to be facing section 114 bankruptcy.
“This announcement does however highlight what can be done when over 40 Conservative MPs and Conservative local government leaders realise that this is the time to speak up for care and call out funding shortfalls. We now need the voices of people drawing on care, their families and care workers, alongside politicians across the political spectrum, to join that call and speak up for care as we head towards the next general election.”