Social care hit by ‘perfect storm’ as costs rise by £3.7billion

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Social care hit by ‘perfect storm’ as costs rise by £3.7billion and demand rises due to staff and bed shortages, local councils warn

Social care services are facing a £3.7billion ‘perfect storm’ of extra costs, staff shortages, fewer care beds and increased demand, local authorities warn.

Without additional funding, quality and access will have to be further reduced, meaning people could wait longer than they currently do for a package of care, they say.

Prime Minister Liz Truss is being urged by the County Councils Network to ‘follow up’ with a promise of extra spending on adult social care over the next two years – despite pledging to scrap the rise in l national insurance intended to finance the new health and levy on care.

New Health Secretary Therese Coffey will present plans for the NHS and social care this winter

Some 542,000 people were waiting for care packages, assessments or direct payments and examinations at the end of April, up 37% from the previous six months, the group says.

CNN, which represents 36 councils in counties covering 25 million people, says services are under pressure ahead of reforms next October and urged the new government to confirm new investments in adult social care in the budget. emergency this week.

Although the 1.25% hike in National Insurance to fund both the NHS and social care looks set to be scrapped, the new Truss government has signaled its support for the planned overhaul of the system in the year next.

This would introduce a spending cap of £86,000 and raise the threshold to start receiving aid from £23,250 to £100,000 – see below.

Today new Health Secretary Therese Coffey is due to present plans for the NHS and social care this winter, while on Friday Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will hold a mini budget which is expected to cover taxes and support to help people people through the cost of living crisis.

What is the social protection plan?

There will be a new spending cap of £86,000 and a more generous means test where the level of capital at which people become eligible for help will increase from the current £23,250 to £100,000, from the autumn 2023.

However, experts say there is a loophole in the plan and the poorest could still spend most of their assets, including their homes, if they needed care, while the better off would lose some relatively small in their wealth.

The new lifetime spending cap will also be based on some, but not all, of people’s private contributions to care, rather than their total costs.

This will exclude anything that local authorities deem unnecessary or not ‘eligible’ for your care, any financial support they provide for your costs, additional payments you may make for high-end amenities like better rooms, living daily or “hotel and lodging” costs, and any care expenses before October 2023.

The County Councils Network says longer waits for care packages, assessments and payments are affecting hospital discharges, where people are medically fit to leave hospital, but this is being delayed due to a lack of care available in the community.

It says that at the end of July, about 13,014, or 10% of all hospital beds, were occupied by people who could be discharged, compared to about 10,400 last November, with many of these delays attributable to to the adult welfare system.

“The new Prime Minister’s pledge in the leadership election to spend more money on adult social care was a welcome acknowledgment that the care system is significantly underfunded and this is having an impact on the NHS,” said adviser Martin Tett, the organisation. health and social spokesperson.

“Services were already under pressure before the government’s reforms were introduced next October, and councils were not due to receive any funding to address these immediate issues.

“However, the situation is now getting worse with rising inflation meaning councils face an extremely difficult 18 months and a £3.7billion cost increase this year and next.

“We are facing the perfect storm of staff shortages, fewer care beds and higher costs – all of which will impact people waiting for care and hospital discharges.

“While the perception is that social care is fixed with ongoing reform, the experience of those who need care now is anything but. We urge the government to confirm that social care will receive a much-needed financial boost as soon as possible.

A government spokesman said: “The Health and Social Care Secretary is focused on delivering services to patients and has set out his four priorities A, B, C, D – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists.

‘We will continue to invest in health and care as a whole the same amount as planned under the levy, and immediately we have made an additional £3.7bn available to councils this year – including £1bn to be spent specifically on social care.’

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