While social care budgets are widely claimed to be on a tipping-point of unsustainability, reactions to this week’s announcements have been ambivalent at best. Many commentators talk disparagingly of recent proposals for increases to the social care precept as amounting to “peanuts”, “feeble” and “tinkering around the edges”.
“Rather than a total of 6% increases in council tax over three years, ring-fenced for social care, English local authorities will be permitted to impose 6% over two years so bringing forward revenue”.
Pym, H. (2016). No watertight solution for social care. London: BBC Health News, December 15th 2016.
Councils angry at government’s social care offer. London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, December 15th 2016.
The Local Government Association (LGA) believes the funding changes will not be sufficient for councils facing significant pressures.
PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May social care ‘crisis’ clash. London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, December 14th 2016.
Peanuts in context?
Triggle, N. (2016). Why council tax hike for care raises peanuts. London: BBC Health News, December 13th 2016.
Re-visiting the old debate:
Kuenssberg, L. (2016). How can social care be funded? London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, December 12th 2016.
Further BBC analysis:
Reality Check: Is social care getting more money? London: BBC Health News, December 12th 2016.
“Social care could get up to an estimated £3.5 billion extra in England by 2020 through council tax increases and a contribution from central government. A similar amount, though, has been cut from social care budgets since 2010 and the extra money would not solve the longer term problems of caring for a population which is continuing to age and whose demands are increasing”.
Opportunities For Efficiencies in Social Care?
The Government’s response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report on the relevance of the spending review for health and social care:
Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee Report into the Impact of the Spending Review on Health and Social Care (First Report of Session 2016–17). London: Department of Health, December 16th 2016. Cm 9385.
Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, has suggested there should be more investment in social care. NHS England spends an estimated £820 million per year treating older patients in hospital who should no longer be there:
Chief nurse: ‘Cut hospital beds to increase care at home’. London: BBC Health News, December 27th 2016.
Further BBC News perspective:
Triggle, N. (2016). Is the NHS going to break in 2017?. London: BBC Health News, December 29th 2016.
More calls for a cross-party review to find a sustainable ways to fund social care:
Social care funding: MPs urge ‘swift’ cross-party review. London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, January 6th 2017.
According to the Local Government Association (LGA), adult social care services will continue to face cuts despite plans to raise council taxes by the maximum 3% this year.
Gallagher, J. (2017). Council tax to rise while services cut, says LGA. London: BBC Health News, February 20th 2017.
A Humanitarian Crisis?
The British Red Cross has claimed there is a “humanitarian crisis” in NHS hospitals in England, caused primarily by inadequacies in social care provision.
NHS rejects claims of ‘humanitarian crisis’ in England’s hospitals. London: BBC Health News, January 7th 2017.
Further denial and assertions of record-levels of spending:
NHS not in ‘humanitarian crisis’, says Theresa May. London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, January 8th 2017.
Simon Stevens replied on NHS stretched-funding:
NHS England chief contradicts May over spending. London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, January 11th 2017.
Mutual Disbelief Over Escalating NHS Mismanagement?
Pym, H. (2017). Turmoil inflames tensions at top of NHS. London: BBC Health News, January 11th 2017.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have had their say:
NHS conditions worst ever, say leading nurses. London: BBC Health News, January 11th 2017.
March 2017 Budget Update
A further £2 billion rescue package for social care in England:
Triggle, N. (2017). Will the Budget help ailing grandparents? London: BBC Health News, March 8th 2017.