Social care should receive greater funding, poll reveals

Two thirds of people believe a greater share of the total health budget should be spent on care for the elderly and disabled provided by councils.

A poll published by the Local Government Association (LGA), and carried out by Populous Data Solutions, showed that 62 per cent think adult social care services should receive a much higher proportion of health and care funding.

At present, 11 per cent of the £129 billion health and care budget is spent by councils on adult social care, with the remainder on health services.

The LGA says that the significant pressures facing both adult social care and the NHS mean that investing more in services that help to keep people out of hospital and to stay in their communities is key.

Councils spend approximately 35 per cent of their budgets on adult social care and are increasingly having to divert money away from other cherished local services, such as bus routes, leisure centres, and road repairs, to plug gaps.

But the poll also suggests that many people underestimate the scale of the problem. Published in the LGA's new State of the Nation report on the adult social care funding crisis, the LGA poll reveals that 60 per cent of people believe that adult social care already received a higher proportion of the total health and care budget than 11 per cent.

Cllr Nick Forbes, senior vice chair of the LGA, said: “Councils, care providers, charities and the NHS are all united around the need for central government to fully fund adult social care, and as our poll reveals, so are the public.

"Adult social care provides invaluable support for the elderly, disabled and some of the most vulnerable people in society. It is that support that keeps people out of hospital and living independent, dignified lives at home and in the community and alleviates the pressure on the NHS.

"Councils have long-argued that it is a false economy to pump money into the NHS but leave social care so chronically underfunded. The government must use the Autumn Statement to provide councils with the funding to ensure we have a fair care system where everybody can receive safe, high-quality care and support."

State of the Nation is a collection of essays from senior sector leaders and experts which sets out the scale of underfunding in adult social care, and the consequences this is having on people, providers and workers and the NHS.