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10.01.18

Social care must remain responsibility of local government, warns LGA head

Local government must maintain the responsibility for adult social care, Lord Gary Porter has cautioned.

The warning comes following the prime minister’s reshuffle, which saw health secretary Jeremy Hunt have social care added to his job title.

This caused some commentators to speculate about whether social care could be about to be moved under the remit of the NHS, rather than councils.

Speaking at the LGA’s finance conference yesterday, the organisation’s chair said that adult social care was “the big one that we played with last year.”

“We had a good result on that,” he added. “I’m not sure where it now sits by putting it in Jeremy Hunt’s job title as opposed to the cabinet office’s job title.”

He explained that adult social care is done on the ground by local government’s people, who know how best to do it, and warned that there will be real trouble if the funding is transferred to the NHS.

“They will lose our money in the financial bottomless pit that they seem to have been digging for the last couple of years and adult social care will fall off the radar,” he warned.

“We’ve got to make sure that we do whatever we can to make sure that the responsibility, however they dress it up, is maintained from our sector’s point of view.”

However, he did say that despite the change in job title, he is “hopeful” that it won’t relate to too much change on the ground, with recent figures showing that local government is doing a “much better job” of getting people out of hospitals, and understands that the way to deal with them is to stop them from going into hospital in the first place.

Top image: Matthias Zomer

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