Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith admitted to local
government leaders that he could not promise extra resources for
social services under a Conservative administration,
writes Lauren Revans.
Responding to questions from delegates at the annual Local
Government Association conference in Bournemouth, Duncan Smith said
he could not guarantee extra money, but pledged to free up existing
resources by tackling what he referred to as “the overlap” between
health and social services.
Duncan Smith said that the occurrence of ‘bed blocking’ at a
time when care homes were being forced to close, was proof of the
absence of joined up thinking on health and social care policy.
He said that both sectors would benefit from redirecting the
money spent on hospital beds for people medically fit for discharge
to extra places in care homes.
He also criticised the government’s decision to introduce
new regulations for care homes, despite councillors fears about the
impact of the new standards on a sector already complaining of
He predicted that the increase in the social services budget
announced in April would not even meet the additional cost of
meeting these standards.
Duncan Smith said he believed the current recruitment and
retention difficulties facing the public sector could be tackled by
returning to the frontline some of the decision-making powers taken
away by central government, and by reducing the constraints of red
tape and inspection.