Incoming government must prioritise adult social care, says LGA
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The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on an incoming government to position adult social care “at the top of its in-tray” to tackle funding and staffing challenges.

In a report produced earlier this month to mark the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Care Act 2014, the LGA suggested a “multi-year financial settlement” would be needed to provide solutions and “to demonstrate that care and support is central to our national infrastructure”.

The Care Act 2014 brought together various elements of existing legislation to give councils a range of responsibilities, including a requirement to focus on wellbeing and preventative services. However, the Act also coincided with demographic and societal changes that meant councils had to do more with less.

The LGA’s recent research discovered that only around two thirds of local authorities are currently confident they will be able to meet all their legal duties under the Care Act by next year (2025/26). This is despite 80 per cent of councils saying they will probably have to reduce spending on a range of other community services, including leisure, libraries and parks, in a bid to preserve care services.

Discussing the report’s findings, David Fothergill, social care spokesperson for the LGA, said: “The Care Act was a beacon of hope for those needing care and support, but this hope has faded. A decade on, people are still facing long waiting times for assessments and support, and not getting the full care and support they need.

He added: “Councils are doing all they can to ensure they meet their duties under the Care Act – including cutting spending on other neighbourhood services – but many still fear they will not be able to over the coming years.

“This simply isn’t good enough. It isn’t good enough for people who draw on care and support and it isn’t good enough for the care workers who work incredibly hard for very little financial reward.”

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