NHS winter crisis should prompt fully funded social care, says LGA

The winter health crisis should incentivise the Government to fully fund social care, council leaders have argued.

The LGA said plugging the social care funding gap will help free up hospital beds and reduce admissions.

LGA Chairman Lord Porter said: “Extra funding for social care can empower councils to prioritise prevention work which is key to reducing the pressures on the health service and keeping people out of hospital in the first place. This will help alleviate the chances of winter crises happening in the future.

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“Working together with the NHS and other sector partners, we need to do all we can to help people with adult social care.”

Lord Porter said the final Local Government Finance Settlement in February was an opportunity to address the £2.3bn social care funding gap expected by 2020.

Councils were given greater flexibility to meet social care costs in the Provisional Local Government Settlement published in December (see Councils given greater flexibility to meet social care costs).

“Immediate extra funding will help avoid a situation where people spend longer in hospital, rather than in their own home and communities – or having their operations cancelled more regularly – as NHS pressures increase and councils are left increasingly powerless to help,” Lord Porter said.

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