LGA calls for release of £700m fund for care services

The Local Government Association (LGA) has claimed that the £700 million which is entitled to care services through the Better Care Fund should be released immediately, as opposed to in instalments over the next four years.

It maintains that issuing the fund as a lump sum would support care services better and help them cope with the strain services are currently facing.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's community well-being spokeswoman, commented: “Even with the same amount of money to spend, in four years time pressures on spending will need to be funded by councils finding savings elsewhere.

“It is inevitable that adult social care will have to contribute to this process, which in turn may continue to impact on provider fee levels.

“Therefore, while the measures announced in the Spending Review for social care are welcome and go some way to addressing the problems facing adult social care funding, concerns remain that future years will still be extremely challenging, particularly the next two.”

Seccombe welcomed the introduction of the the National Living Wage but claimed it would increase pressures significantly. Unpredictable and unplanned potentially large cost increases could drive many providers out of the market before any potential higher local authority income for social care is activated.

Seccombe added: “That is why the LGA is calling for £700 million of the funding earmarked for social care through the Better Care Fund by the end of the decade to be brought forward now, to ease the severe strain on services supporting the elderly and vulnerable.”