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LGA calls for social care funding to be protected in next Budget

Council leaders says that if the government does not safeguard social care funding in next month’s Budget, as it has been doing for the NHS, another crisis in A&E departments will be “unavoidable”. 

The Local Government Association (LGA) claims that without adequate funding, elderly and disabled people could be left without the social care services to help them remain independent, and stay out of hospital and in their own homes for longer. 

The LGA wants the chancellor to use the Budget on 18 March to protect public services in England with adequate funding to ensure councils can provide services locally. 

The Care and Support Alliance (CSA), which represents over 75 of Britain’s leading charities, added that it supports the LGA Budget calls in relation to social care. 

“We particularly welcome the focus on the link between spending on health and social care and the need to protect both,” said Richard Hawkes, chair of CSA. 

He added that local government analysis of the reduction in social care funding makes it clear why the CSA hears so many stories of people failing to be supported to wash, dress, leave the house and communicate with those around them. 

Last month the LGA warned of the “crippling repercussions” that failing to protect funding for social care will have on other valued council services. It claims that next year, councils will have to divert £1.1bn from services like fixing potholes and running libraries and museums. 

Cllr David Sparks, chair of the LGA, said: “This Budget must make sure adult social care is put on a sustainable financial footing. We can't afford to waste this chance to get it right. 

“Adult social care funding is in crisis. We have seen first-hand the devastating effects that a chronically-underfunded social care system can have on people’s lives this winter by leaving them stuck in hospital without the care they need.” 

He added that the combined pressures of insufficient funding, growing demand, escalating costs and a 40% cut to local government budgets across the current Parliament mean that despite councils’ best efforts they are having to make tough decisions about the care services they can provide. 

PSE has asked the Department of Health for a comment on the latest funding call from the LGA, but at the time of publication had not received a reply. 

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