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14.10.16

WLGA calls for social care investment boost in Wales

Social care services in Wales face an even more acute funding shortfall than in England, anaccording to new figures.

A Health Foundation report, published yesterday, warned that the NHS in Wales could face a £700m funding shortfall by 2019-20, partly due to growing social care pressures, as reported in PSE’s sister title National Health Executive.

Cllr Huw David, the Welsh Local Government Association’s spokesperson for health and social care, said that social care inflation in Wales is as high as 6% because of an ageing population and the introduction of the National Living Wage, especially on third party providers.

The association added that it is grateful for the investment and protection that the Welsh government has provided for social services and initiatives like the Intermediate Care Fund in the past. However, budget pressures in social care are rising by around 4% annually according to the Health Foundation, higher than the pressures faced by the NHS.

In its annual report, also published yesterday, the CQC said that social care risks reaching a “tipping point” where its finances are no longer sustainable.

Cllr David said: “The WLGA is not looking to rob Peter to pay Paul, we recognise the huge pressures in the NHS highlighted in the Health Foundation report.

“The key point as highlighted by the CQC is that there needs to be greater emphasis on prevention, ensuring that people are kept out of hospital particularly the elderly who research shows are far better cared for in their own homes.”

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