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Hammond to pledge almost £1bn extra for social care in Budget

Almost £1bn extra will be allocated for social care in England, chancellor Philip Hammond will announce in the Budget later today.

As reported by major media outlets yesterday, Hammond is expected to allocate more than £800m for councils, with another £100m for children, giving local government a much-needed boost to deal with the growing social care crisis.

The announcement will be welcomed by local councils, who are receiving more than 5,000 requests relating to adult social care every day. A report by the Public Accounts Committee earlier this month found that the government is still “a long way” from achieving an effective strategy for integrated health and social care as a funding squeeze on local government has stalled progress on integrated care.

However, many will argue that the cash boost will still not meet the surging demand despite the today’s announcement and health and social care secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement of a £240m social care green paper funding earlier this month.

Also expected to be announced in the Budget this afternoon is £2bn funding for mental health services, a cut in business rates for small retailers, and an increase in spending on universal credit.

The announcement comes as the NHS Confederation, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS Providers joined forces today to send a letter to Hammond urging him to tackle the funding gap facing adult social care and public health.

The letter called on the government to tackle the substantial funding pressures facing adult social care and public health budgets while highlighting the risks of inaction.

“Failure to act now will have significant consequences for the health and care needs of millions of people who rely on adult social care to help them live their lives,” the letter said.

It continued: “The secretary of state for health and social care has underlined his and the government’s commitment to relieve pressure on the hospital service by investing in primary and community care. This is most welcome, but it cannot succeed without recognising the interdependency of these services on public health and social care.” 

James Taylor, head of Policy and Public Affairs at disability charity Scope, said: “This amount of funding for social care is a drop in the ocean. What we need is a long-term funding solution to stop our crumbling care system from collapsing.

“Approximately a third of people who use long-term social care are disabled [1], and rely on support with basics such as getting washed, getting dressed and leaving the house. This support enables disabled people to live independently, work and socialise.

“It’s imperative the upcoming green paper creates a fully-funded social care system fit for the 21st Century.”

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