Funding concerns raised over social care reforms

  • Councils are saying that plans to cap the amount of money people in England and Wales spend on social care could be in jeopardy due to lack of funding. /images/careandsupport.jpg

    A poll of 152 councils in England, were social care spending was capped for adults meaning they had to apply to councils for funding, found 134 had concerns over costs, reports the BBC.

    The government had said councils were receiving extra money to fund the change.

    Changes to the way social care will be provided is set to be introduced next year to help protect and support people who face large care costs once they go into residential care. Initially the cap will be set to £72,000 during a person's lifetime and will be available to people with the most severe needs.

    However the poll by the Local Government Association ound a "major concern" for councils in England was an uncertainty over the number of people who could request an assessment under the new system.

    Councillor Katie Hall, of the LGA, said the government "could have unfairly raised" people's expectations through "a failure to properly fund" the changes they have been waiting for.

    "Councils want to help as many people who require support and care as possible, however, with only eight months to go until councils will have to start implementing these changes, the clock is ticking for government to get the funding right so that these vital reforms do not face collapse before they have even begun," she said.

    Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, added that a "great new system on paper is pointless unless there is sufficient funding in place."

    But a Department of Health spokeswoman suggested there should be enough money available, saying councils had received an extra £1.1bn this year to protect social care services.

    "We will continue to work with councils and the LGA to ensure the changes are sustainable," a spokeswoman added.

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