LGA raises concern over council ability to fulfil Care Act duties

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that the continued underfunding of social care is making it ‘impossible’ for councils to fulfil their legal duties under the Care Act.

In a statement, the LGA highlighted that if the government does not provide more funding for social care, then ministers must be ‘honest and upfront’ with the public about the ‘limitations of the care and support’ local authorities will realistically be able to provide.

It outlined that current funding quantities mean councils can only meet basic needs such as helping people get out of bed in the morning rather than enabling care recipients to ‘enjoy fulfilling, independent lives at home in the community, rather than a hospital ward’.

In its Budget submission, the LGA has called on the government to set out contingency plans to deal with the problems faced in the care provider market.

It warned that a lack of sufficient funding for adult social care could see: providers pulling out of the publicly-funded care market or going bust; growing unmet basic needs such as getting washed and dressed, or helped out of bed; shorter care visits; further strain on carers; an overstretched workforce with an increasingly high turnover; greater pressure on GP surgeries and hospitals; and more and more people stranded in hospital unable to leave.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said:  "Adult social care is about much more than helping people get dressed in the morning. It is about aspiring to help people live their lives to he fullest, and with dignity, not simply just get by. This is the great strength of the Care Act, which unfortunately is now at risk. 

"If no new money is urgently announced, then government needs to be honest and upfront with the public about the limitations of the care and support we can provide, and the fact that as a society we will no longer be able to meet the ambitions and objectives of the Care Act. The need to inject new money into how we provide care and support for our elderly and vulnerable residents is something which councils, charities, care providers and the NHS are fully united in calling for. 

"Genuinely new government funding is now the only way to save the Care Act, and to protect the services caring for our elderly and disabled people and ensure they can enjoy dignified, healthy and independent lives, live in their own community and stay out of hospital for longer, reducing the pressures on the NHS." 

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