MPs are to hold a Parliamentary inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care ahead of the government’s green paper on care and support for older people.
The joint inquiry by Parliament’s Health and Communities and Local Government committees will focus on how the funding for adult social care can be made sustainable in the long term and what mechanisms could be used to get politicians and the public to agree on a solution.
The cross-party committees, which scrutinise the work of government, plan to report on their findings in May and are currently calling for written evidence submissions.
The deadline for making a written submission is 7 March after which the committees are likely to hold public hearings on the issue.
The committees intend to publish the findings of the inquiry in May, ahead of the green paper which is expected to be published this summer.
The Local Government Association (LGA) welcomed the decision to investigate the long-term funding of adult social care.
“The committees are absolutely right to focus on long-term funding solutions and how to build political and public support for them,” said councillor Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.
“We do not need a major overhaul of our care and support system; the Care Act provided that and the vision it sets out in legislative terms enjoys widespread support. What we need is consensus on funding solutions so the Care Act vision can be realised.”
“An essential foundation for long-term reform is greater awareness amongst the public of why adult social care matters in its own right.
“Everyone who has a stake in our care system should help build this awareness. Similarly, progress is only likely to be made if there is a cross-party consensus on a way forward. The LGA stands ready to help build that consensus.”
The LGA estimates that there will be a £2.3 billion funding gap in adult social care by 2020.
The inquiry follows earlier reports from both the Health and Communities and Local Government committees highlighting the need to find a sustainable solution to the funding of adult social care.
In March 2017, a Communities and Local Government Committee report recommended using national taxation to plug the funding gap.