The social care system is under increasing pressure
Many local councils face unprecedented pressures on their resources and in some instances are looking to save over 30% of their current expenditure between 2015 and 2019. Adult social care forms a large percentage of any local authority budget and these services are expected to reduce spending and find more cost effective ways of working, while maintaining safe, high quality services.
Demand is growing in some areas, with increasing numbers of older residents, residents living much longer with complex care and health needs, increased mental health needs and the continued need to support people with lifelong health and care needs to live as independently and as full a life as possible.
The new Care Act places new duties on local authorities and partners to promote wellbeing and public health within communities, to help reduce or delay the need for care.
From April 2016, there will be a cap in place to limit the amount people have to pay towards their care. This is welcome, but it comes without any certainty on the costs to local councils associated with these new duties, nor of the increased demands from people who use services and their carers.
It is clear that the NHS and the social care system need to work better together if we are to deliver the high quality services people need.