This paper was written in response to the Care and Support White Paper and the draft bill. It identifies practical reforms and makes four recommendations for reforms between now and 2015. The report’s four key recommendations are:
- Local government and the NHS must integrate services and budgets, changing the focus of social care services and spending towards prevention. Community Budgets, which are currently being piloted by the government, should be implemented across all local authority areas with a focus on prevention.
- Health and Wellbeing Boards are making an impact and have great potential. These Boards need powers to influence the NHS Commissioning Board’s plans, and the right to challenge those plans if they do not meet the joint health and wellbeing strategy. The NHS Commissioning Board should have a duty to cooperate with the Health and Wellbeing Boards. The NHS and local authorities should be required to make an Annual Statement that accounts for all NHS and adult social care expenditure so that members of Health and Wellbeing Boards can scrutinise and challenge the choices made. This information should be made available publicly.
- The funding gap is around 4.4% per year, equivalent to £634 million. To close this gap, the Government should re-direct additional resources from NHS budgets to preventative care. In the current year £622 million of NHS money has been invested in social care. but this should be doubled in 2012/13 and 2014/15 using funds from NHS underspends (currently £1.5bn).
- The role of local authorities needs to evolve to help people lead independent lives, remain financially independent and to shape social care markets. All citizens, not just those funded by the council, should receive “timely and appropriate advice about their care options and about how to manage their finances effectively to meet the costs of their care”.
Section headings in this report include:
- How did we get here? The policy context.
- What do we know about the problem?
- What can we do now? The changing role of local authorities.
- Where do we go now? A system fit for the future.
- Funding the system.
- Appendix 1: oral witness sessions.
- Appendix 2: written evidence.
Thraves, L. Sillett, J. [and] Carr-West, J. [et al] (2012). Care Now and for the Future: final report of the local government APPG inquiry into adult social care. London: All Party Parliament Local Government Group, July 2012.