Latest Public Sector News


Inadequate funding could jeopardise Care Act reforms – Councils warn

Approximately nine out of 10 councils in England and Wales are worried that inadequate government funding could jeopardise vital reforms to the adult social care system under the Care Act.

This is according to a Local Government Association (LGA) survey of 152 councils with responsibility for adult social care, which revealed that 134 local authorities are concerned about the cost of making crucial changes to services for people in need.

The LGA has written to health minister Norman Lamb on behalf of councils across England and Wales to outline the growing concerns and urge the government to commit to plugging any funding shortfall.

Cllr Katie Hall, chair of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said: “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.”

A major concern for councils is uncertainty over the number of people in local areas who are paying for their own care who could now request an assessment under the new system to limit the care costs they have to meet. Without proper funding councils may not be able to meet this additional demand for assessments placing a further strain on local budgets, the LGA stated.

Hall added that the Care Act does have the potential to bring about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people who rely on care and support. “It would be an absolute tragedy if insufficient funding jeopardised these desperately needed changes,” she added.

But a Department of Health spokeswoman has suggested that more than enough money would be available to support the reforms.

She said: “We have given councils an extra £1.1 billion this year to protect social care services and are providing extensive support to implement the reforms, including £470 million next year. We will continue to work with councils and the LGA to ensure the changes are sustainable.”

Recently, though, the LGA and ADASS warned that changes to safeguarding rules could take £88m away from care budgets.

Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, added: “We believe local authorities must review all existing agreements with people who pay top-ups. They should check these payments are genuinely sustainable and make sure care homes do the same.

“Families need much more information and advice when thinking about placing their loved one in a care home, whilst care workers should also be better trained to help support the decision.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >