Vulnerable people in England received nearly 13 million extra hours of home care visits last year as part of a £674 million funding programme, the government announced today.
The Improved Better Care Fund, which seeks to join-up health and care services, paid for almost 75,000 extra home care packages – equivalent to almost 13 million hours of home care – and enabled councils to increase fees paid to home care providers by 4.7%, new data shows.
It also helped to reduce pressures on the NHS by tackling delayed transfers of care, the government said.
Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, commented: “We are determined to ensure people are able to access good quality, compassionate care by better joining up councils and health services.
“The Improved Better Care Fund has had a huge impact on local communities ensuring more of our most vulnerable in society are getting the help and support they need to stay living at home for longer and ensuring the local care market stays sustainable.”
The funding forms part of an additional £2 billion for councils to deliver adult social care from 2017 to 2020, announced at Spring Budget 2017.
Chancellor Sajid Javid announced in his Spending Round last month that a further £1.5 billion will be provided to local councils to help “stabilise the social care system”.
But the United Homecare Association has called for a firmer commitment to address social care issues, saying that the proposals are not enough in the long term.
Jane Towson, CEO of UKHCA, said: “Although the commitment of £1bn for adult and children’s social care for councils in England is a step in the right direction by the Government, it does not go nearly far enough to address the stark reality that faces social care now and in the long term.
“Additionally, the extra £0.5bn mentioned that could be raised by the social care precept is far from certain.”
“Over 1.4m people are not getting the support they need, with demand rising all the time. The amount is some way short of what is needed to ensure people are suitably supported.”
Councils in England warned last month that they will be forced to decommission services if the Government fails to confirm more than £2.4bn in funding for elderly and younger adult care next year.