Last week United Response sent a submission to an inquiry about adult social care by MPs on the Communities and Local Government Committee. The Committee is looking at the impact of the 2015 Spending Review and whether funding available for social care is sufficient to enable local authorities to fulfil their duties under the Care Act, and meet the needs of people in need of care and support.

United Response campaigns and lobbies for better social care because it is a lifeline for people we support. Good social care makes the difference between people with learning disabilities simply existing, and them having the right support to live full, happy lives.

Funding for social care comes from local authorities, which in turn traditionally received a central grant from the Government to pay for essential local services such as social care. Since 2010, central Government has cut money to local authorities by 40%. The 2015 Spending Review saw the Chancellor change policy so that local authorities have to raise their own funding locally through a council tax precept for adult social care.

Devolution of responsibility

Our submission raises concerns that the Government is devolving responsibility for funding of social care to local authorities, whilst leaving them with insufficient mechanisms of raising revenue at local level.

United Response believes that social care should have, at least in part, guaranteed core central government funding in the same way as the NHS, so as to recognise the vital and equal importance of these services, end disparity between health and social care, and to achieve the aim of real integration between these two services. To this end, we recommend that central government take responsibility to close the large and growing funding gap in social care.

It seems that the Government’s own ambitions within the Care Act are being undermined because local authorities simply don’t have enough money to invest in transforming adult social care.

United Response is worried that increasing numbers of people with genuine social care needs may no longer receive the care that they need because of a lack of resource, as was pointed out recently in findings from a similar inquiry by the Health Select Committee.

Social care should be a priority

There is widespread agreement that care for vulnerable people in the UK needs to be improved. The Care Act was supposed to transform social care, but is widely acknowledged to be failing to deliver the necessary changes. United Response would like to see the Government make social care a priority and coordinate a new approach to transform care and ensure that it is properly funded in the whole of the UK.

The Communities and Local Government Committee is also running a corresponding adult social care online forum alongside its inquiry. If you or someone you support would like to let the Committee know about your experiences of accessing adult social care support and services, you can post a comment on the committee’s website. The forum is open until Friday 2nd September.

Post a comment on the adult social care web forum

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union at the beginning of the summer created momentous change within British politics. The new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has pledged to fight injustice and make Britain a country that works for everyone.

United Response continues to push for social care to be kept on the new Government’s agenda going forward, so that vulnerable people with learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities can live their lives in a country that works to support them too.

Read our blogs, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and listen out for future campaigns from United Response over the coming weeks and months to keep up to date with the latest news.

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