Ex-minister calls for social care funding clarity

3 Jun 13
Former care minister Paul Burstow has urged the government to set out a clear plan for the future of adult social care funding in the June 26 Spending Review.

Speaking to Public Finance, Burstow said the Spending Review, which will set out departmental budgets for 2015/16, needed to maintain cash transfers from the NHS to councils to boost social care funding.

In 2013/14, around £859m was transferred from the NHS to fund social care in local authorities.

However, Burstow said it was also vital that the review ‘send a clear signal that the government does understand – and will settle in the 2015 Spending Review – that funding for social care has very much been the poor relation of the NHS for decades’.

Burstow, who chaired the joint committee that undertook pre-legislative scrutiny of the Care Bill, said there was evidence that funding problems in the system were ‘chronic’. He added: ‘I hope that will be addressed, because if it isn’t, you just wind up with costs being shunted into the NHS.’

He also said there was a need for Chancellor George Osborne to provide ‘transition’ funding to local authorities ahead of the cap on adult social care costs, to be set at £72,000 in 2016.

Around 450,000 people who are currently paying for all of their social care will need to be assessed before being included in the council-run payment systems to calculate contributions to the cap.



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