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Funding shortfall puts Care Act at risk – London Councils

London is facing double the shortfall in funding to prepare for the implementation of the Care Act than previously thought, London Councils has warned.

The organisation estimates that London boroughs will need £90m to ensure appropriate systems and infrastructure are set up to implement the changes to adult and social care, due to be fully rolled out in 2016. Going by the most recent funding proposals by the government this will leave a funding gap of £36m.

Boroughs have been working from indicative allocations released by the Department of Health in December that suggested the capital would be £17m short. However, London Councils is warning that the DH proposed formula for distributing funding excludes under 65s, who currently make up 40% of care users receiving local authority support in London, and those who have a mortgage.

The latest funding allocations will leave many boroughs back at square one, warns London Councils.

The body, which represents all 32 boroughs and the City of London, is calling for the proposed formula to be revised.

Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE, London Councils’ executive member for adult social care, said: “We are expecting a 27% rise in Londoners eligible for care and support from their council once the Care Act comes into force.

“For London, these changes represent a seismic shift in the way adult social care services are delivered. Boroughs, individually and working together, are committed to implementing the reforms effectively, so that Londoners get the care and support they need. However, the latest funding indications could put that work at risk.

“We urge the government to look again at the funding arrangements and ensure that they reflect the real costs of preparing for the Care Act in London.”

From April 2016, councils will be required to deliver additional care user assessments, set up and manage care accounts, provide information and advice and handle deferred payments.

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