‘Don’t kick social care reform into the long grass’

Following the recent General Election, county leaders are urging the government to avoid ‘kicking social care reform into the long grass’.

The County Councils Network (CCN) has warned that the government risks repeating the well-documented social care funding crisis in a few years’ time unless tangible and long-lasting reform is sought.

To prevent this, the government must launch a green paper on the future sustainability of social care, with counties and their local government partners central to any review or reform.

LG Futures recently estimated that counties receive 60 per cent less government funding, on average, per elderly resident than inner London. Therefore, CCN is calling for a ‘needs-based’ fair funding review.

Cllr Colin Noble, health and social care spokesman for CCN, said: “We know social care has been a hotly-disputed topic, but government should not waver in its convictions for reform: the long-term sustainability for social care depends on whether we have a national cross-sector conversation on how to ensure we can cope with demand that will only intensify.

“We should not look to kick the social care green paper into the long grass. Equally, any reform must be underpinned by a fair and sustainable funding methodology for county areas, which funds councils based on their need, rather than the current outdated and regressive formula. It is crucial that county authorities play a full and active part in any future discussions over the long-term sustainability of social care, using our experience at the coalface to help shape proposals.”

Key figures are due to meet on 20 June at a special half-day summit to discuss the future and present challenges in social care in an event organised jointly by the CCN and KPMG.

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