London Councils : Time to fix social care

Reform of the social care system is desperately needed and badly overdue, London Councils has said today following the publication of the new social care green paper.

London Councils has urged the government to investigate alternative funding models for social care, and explore ways to encourage the public to join a savings scheme to provide for their future care needs.

A recent survey commissioned by the organisation found that very few Londoners are saving for their future care needs, despite the predicted massive shortfall in social care funding – up to £6 billion according to some experts.

The survey also revealed that four out of 10 people who have a relative with social care needs find it difficult to know who to speak to once they are in the system, or to understand what care is free and what needs to be paid for.

London Councils has also demanded the government include a review of the personal social services formula for younger adults in its reforms of the social care system.

A 2006 change to the formula used to determine funding grossly under-predicted need in the capital, and saw local authorities in London lose out on millions of much needed funding.

London Councils’ Executive Member for Health and Adult Services, Councillor Mike Freer, said:

“We are pleased that the government has finally got around to publishing its ideas on social care. As our survey shows, the system is confusing and isn’t financially sustainable.

“We will be providing a full response to the green paper in due course. But we would also urge the government to review the personal social services formula as part of their reforms of social care.

“In 2006, a stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen saw the capital’s social services lose out on millions without any corresponding drop in demand for services. The government must rectify this, or London’s social services will suffer for years to come.”

The social care green paper was released today, Tuesday 14 July, by the Department for Health.

For information on London Councils’ social care survey, please see the related article ‘Social care ‘timebomb’ means reform is urgent’

For information on London Councils’ work around the PSS formula, please see the related article ‘London’s vulnerable adults deserve better’