Government urged to increase social services spending in Budget

The government has been urged to increase funding for social
services in next week’s Budget in a joint open letter from local
authorities and the NHS Confederation, writes Clare

The investment in social services has not been parallel with
investment in the NHS in recent years, the letter says. It urges
the government to correct the imbalance to ensure “that local
government as well as the NHS has real sustained increases in

The letter from Jeremy Beecham, Local Government Association
chairperson, and Dianne Jeffrey, chairperson of the NHS
Confederation, warns that if this funding is not provided then
“problems will intensify in the NHS and the modernisation agenda
will be slowed”.

It also warns of the immense pressures in social services for
both children and older people. The “recent instability” in the
residential and care home sectors must be removed if a whole system
approach to providing health services is to be maintained.

Spending in social services is currently running over a billion
above the standard spending assessment and significantly above
budget, and this spending has long term implications given the
commitments to support people in their own homes and communities,
it adds.

“We know that investment in local authority social services can
have immediate effect and maximum benefit. Recent experience of the
new grant for community services is that there has been a positive
effect on reducing delayed discharges from the acute sector,” the
letter says.

The letter, which is addressed to health secretary Alan Milburn,
but copied to the prime minister, the Chancellor, the chief
secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith and secretary of state for
local government, transport and the regions, Stephen Byers, urges
funding to be increased and sustained through investment in the
Budget and a sustained approach in the current spending review.






More from Community Care

Comments are closed.