Chancellor Philip Hammond today announced a £650m funding boost for local authorities for the provision of adult social care for 2019-20.
The cash injection comes on top of the £240m winter funding for social care announced earlier this month (see Government reveals LA allocations for £240m social investment).
The Chancellor also pledged an additional £45m for the disabilities facilities grant in 2018-19.
He also committed a further £84m over the next five years to expand children’s social care programmes to 20 further councils.
The Chancellor said the funding announcement was designed to ease “immediate pressures” on local authorities in providing social care.
He said the move was move being shortly ahead of the Social Care Green Paper which would look at the long term future of the sector.
Martin Green, CEO, of Care England, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement does not go anywhere near the amount required to put social care funding on a sustainable foundation, and unless the money is ring fenced, there is no guarantee it will reach the front line.”
Nadra Ahmed, Chair of the National Care Association, added: “The National Care Association welcomes the announcement of additional funding to support vulnerable people being supported by social care providers and the courage to promise sustained investment.
“I look forward to analysing the detail to ensure that this funding will be available to front line services to start closing the gap in social care of over £3bn. Its a welcome start and one which we have lobbied hard for. We hope that it will have a direct impact on the people who need it most – vulnerable members of our society.”
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, branded the announcement as a “Halloween shock” for the 1.4m people currently living without care.
“The extra £650m to support social care is obviously welcome, but in reality it is just a drop in the ocean compared to what has been pledged for NHS care and to what is needed for social care,” Mike said.
“It goes nowhere near addressing the funding gap on social care, expected to be £3.5bn within seven years and the £7bn that has been cut from social care spending in the past eight years.
“This money, whilst welcome, is not going to address the crisis in social care that is seeing care homes close, homecare providers hand back unviable contracts, extra care providers struggling and, above all, 1.4m people going without the care they need.
“We desperately need to see the long-promised Green Paper, which we hope will set out a proper, long-term solution to the social care crisis.”