Council leaders welcome £7bn care investment call

By William Eichler | 22 October 2020

Local government leaders have welcomed a call from MPs for a £7bn annual increase in social care funding as a first step towards fixing the ongoing crisis.

A new report from the Health and Social Care Committee called for an immediate increase in funding for the social care sector of £7bn a year to avoid the risk of market collapse.

However, it warned that this was only a starting point and would not address the growing problem of unmet need or improve access to care.

The report estimated that the full cost of adequate funding was likely to run to ‘tens of billions of pounds.’

It described the current means-tested system as ‘frightening for the most vulnerable people in our society and their families’.

Committee chairman Jeremy Hunt, who was health secretary from 2012 to 2018, said that the £7bn funding increase would meet demographic and wage pressures, as well as the 'catastrophic care costs' faced by people with dementia or other neurological conditions.

He continued: ‘To address wider issues the sector needs a 10-year plan and a people plan just like the NHS.

'Without such a plan, words about parity of esteem will be hollow.’

Chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘This helpful report reinforces our calls for a long-term, sustainable funding solution for adult social care, as well as funding to deal with immediate pressures facing the system that existed before coronavirus and which have been exacerbated by it.'

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