Further to Philip Hammond’s recent announcement in the budget that an extra £2bn of funding will be granted to social care in England over the next three years, the care home industry has called on the government to ensure that the money makes its way to frontline services rather than staying with local authorities.
Their concerns come from previous failed attempts for the money to get to social care. Last year councils were given the power to increase council tax through a precept if the extra funds went to social care providers. However, industry sources claim that while more than 90% of councils did increase council tax, only half passed on the funds.
Whilst senior figures in the care home industry have acknowledged that this additional funding is good news at a time when the social care system is at “tipping point”, they’ve said it is important that the money gets through to frontline care as intended. Therefore, it is essential that councils make sure they use their powers to raise the council tax precept to its maximum amount to provide funding for care.
Tim Hammond, the chief executive of Four Seasons Health Care, the biggest care home group in the UK, said that the government would produce a discussion paper later this year that considered how to fund social care in the future.
Mr Hammond said: –
“My view is that if you ask me who is to blame, it is the government. The government should be delivering a very clear vision for what social care is, they should be giving clear expectations to citizens about what they should expect from the system and what they should expect to pay for and none of that is happening.”