The drive to tackle NHS budget deficits is placing extra burdens on
social services’ stretched finances, a director claims.
Wiltshire Council’s director of adult services, Ray Jones, said his
department faced an overspend of at least £4m, in part due to
pressures transferred to the authority as a result of NHS cuts, and
claimed this was a nationwide problem.
Care services minister Liam Byrne admitted the issue had been
brought to his attention but said it was “difficult to speculate”
on the situation.
The problems stem from an NHS-wide drive to curb a cumulative
deficit of £250m identified in end-of-year accounts for
Jones said efforts to balance the NHS’s books had come at the
expense of social care. He said Wiltshire’s primary care trusts
were withdrawing funding from care packages previously jointly
funded with the council, while the authority was also having to
provide intensive home care to people who would previously have
received NHS care.