The Autumn Statement released today is notable by its absence of reference to any increase in funding to assist the health and social care sector through the growing storm of underfunding within the sector.
The Chancellor stated that public spending would be reviewed in the comprehensive spending review that will take place next year. He restated the commitment to the Better Care fund and adult social care precept which applies to Council tax for all households. Whilst these measures are welcomed by the sector they only present a temporary fix to the gap in funding for social care.
As expected an increase to the National Living Wage for over 25s will rise from £7.20 to £7.50 will have an impact on providers who have a reliance on workers who receive this remuneration.
It is notable that this year is the first year that spending per head on the NHS has decreased since the beginning of the NHS. The squeeze on providers within the social care sector continues without sustained respite from the Government. It is hoped that the Government will find the drive to address the long term social care funding gap which appears to be increasing. Unfortunately with the advent of Brexit and revisions to Government spending being revised drastically respite may be further away than needed.