New PM must publish adult social care green paper says LGA

Council leaders call for adult green paper to be published before Parliament goes into recess

Published on 3rd July 2019

Council leaders have urged the new prime minister to publish the delayed green paper on adult social care before Parliament goes into recess in September.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, is calling on the government to publish the long-awaited green paper for the sake of the millions of older and disabled people who rely on vital care and support.

Chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: "More than 12 months has passed since the government announced yet another delay to the publication of its social care green paper. Those who rely on vital care and support cannot wait any longer.

“Our adult social care system is creaking under increasing pressure which impacts everyone with care and support needs, preventing them from living their lives to the full. It also has consequences for all those involved in adult social care including providers, the workforce and the NHS," he added.

It is now more than two and a half years since the government first committed to publishing a green paper and in the last year, the government has delayed its version three times.

Adult social care faces a £3.6 billion funding gap by 2025. The LGA is calling on the government to use the Spending Review to secure the immediate future of the social care system until a long-term, sustainable solution is found.

In fact, new analysis by the LGA shows that the extra funding needed to close this gap is similar to the 3.4 per cent annual real terms increase given to the NHS in the Long Term Plan. For comparison, the extra £20.5 billion a year by 2023/24 in real terms for the NHS is more than the entire annual net spend on adult social care, which was £15.33 billion in 2017/18.

The LGA is also renewing its invite to host cross-party talks between national politicians to finally find consensus on desperately-needed reforms, to ensure we meet the future care needs of our ageing population.

Cllr Hudspeth added: "Councils are having to make incredibly difficult decisions within tightening budgets and cannot be expected to continue relying on one-off funding injections to keep services going. What is needed is funding certainty for both the immediate and long-term.

“That is why the government needs to commit to meeting our 10-week deadline, before the party conferences start, to finally publish its much-delayed and long-awaited green paper outlining what the future funding options and possible solutions to this crisis are.

“Local government stands ready to host cross-party talks to kick-start this process and make sure we get the answers and certainty we need, so that people can continue to receive essential care and support," he concluded.

The LGA's report One year On - The LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeing

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