Social care funding gap17th March 2011
The King’s Fund has warned that social care is facing a funding gap of £1.2bn by 2014 in England.
And the think-tank is concerned that this could have consequences for the NHS.
As local authorities face funding cuts, the organisation is worried about the impact on home help and care home places, which in turn may lead to more hospital admissions and delays in discharges.
By 2014 there will be an extra £1bn made available to local authorities from the NHS budget, though with local authorities also relying on funding from other government departments – which are facing 27% cuts over the next four years – the King’s Fund fears that in real terms there would be a 7% cut to the social care budget.
That would see a funding gap of £1.2bn open up within four years.
Report author Richard Humphries said: “However, health and care needs are in fact two sides of the same coin - social care should no longer be viewed as just a supportive handmaiden to the NHS.”
But care services minister Paul Burstow rejected the King’s Fund figures and said there would be no funding gap as the extra money coupled with more efficient services would ensure those in need got help.
He added: “The government recently allocated extra money to encourage more joined-up working, support the delivery of social care and protect the most vulnerable in society.
“This funding should enable local authorities to protect people's access to services and deliver new approaches to improve their care.”
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Title: Social care funding gap
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 17904
Date Added: 17th Mar 2011