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Social care funding and carers

  • Last modified date:
    9 November 2010

This factsheet sets out the Government's position on social care funding and carers, in response to BBC research on the impact of the ageing population.

On social care funding

Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow said:

"We know that urgent reform of the social care system is needed. That's why we established an independent Commission to consider how we ensure affordable and sustainable funding for care and support for all adults in England. The Commission will report to us in July next year and we will bring together its findings with other work we are doing on care and put proposals before Parliament.

"To bridge the gap until we have reformed the system, we have taken action to ensure that health and care services are prepared to meet the pressures of the aging population. The Department of Health is investing extra money in social care - rising to £2billion a year extra by 2014/15. This means that no council needs to reduce access to social care due to an increase in the number of older people."

On councils' budgets for social care

Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow said:

"The Coalition Government has prioritised social care - the Spending Review announced significant extra funding for social care for each of the next four years, increasing to an extra £2billion investment in 2014/15.

"This extra money means that no council need reduce access to social care or fail to meet demographic pressures, if councils improve efficiency and drive forward with reform to make services more personal and preventative.

"We are investing in reablement services that get people back on their feet after a stay in hospital. By using telecare and developing preventative services, councils can cut their costs, reduce pressure on the NHS and improve the quality of life of their residents.

"Local authorities will have greater freedom and flexibility to determine how best to use their resources and they must ensure that the investment in social care is reflected in the services provided."

On personal budgets

A DH spokesperson said:

"The Government is committed to extending the roll-out of personal budgets to give people and their carers more control over the care that is funded for them. The vision for adult social care, which will be published shortly, will provide further detail on how we plan to do this."

On respite care for carers

A DH spokesperson said:

"Later this year, the Government will publish a revised Carers Strategy that will remind health and social care services in England that it is very important that carers get breaks from their responsibilities."

 

Background:

The Government is updating the Carers Strategy and will produce a clear plan of action for 2011 to 2015 before the end of this year. This will set out the key activities on which the Government — working in partnership with Local Authorities, the NHS, employers, the voluntary sector, local communities and carers — can focus from April 2011, within the context of the 'Big Society' and the capacity of the community to support and empower people.

We have received around 750 responses to our call for evidence about what are the most important priorities on which the Government should focus in the coming years. We have heard from individual carers, from voluntary sector organisations, from local authorities and from health bodies.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced in October that over £4million is being reinvested across eleven projects to provide training for carers. The Government is investing in a range of projects for carers including:

• £1.8million funding to a range of third sector organisations supporting carers, including the Afiya Trust, in recognition of the particular needs and challenges faced by carers from ethnic minority communities.

• Over £1million funding for training and raising awareness of carers for key health and social professionals, including GPs and practice staff.

• £1million funding for a grant scheme aimed at encouraging bids from illness specific organisations wishing to do more to support carers.

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