Council supports the call for Adult Social Care reform
Cllr James, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Haringey Council, has welcomed comments from NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Steven, who has called for Social Care to be properly resourced – “there is a need for greater parity between Adult Social Care and the NHS, Adult Social Care should be seen as an investment and not as a cost”, the Cllr States.
Sir Simon Steven’s comments came during an interview with the BBC on the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS, who said that the COVID- 19 pandemic had shone “a very harsh spotlight” on the resilience and support available in social care.
He went on to say, “We must use this as a moment to resolve once and for all to actually properly resource and reform the way in which social care works in this country.”
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the government announced £3.2bn grant in emergency funding for local government in England and asked social care to tackle the crisis in partnership with the NHS. However, councils have spent far in excess of the grant provided by the government for social care during COVID-19.
Locally, Haringey Council has led the response on the ground to maintain the care and support needs of communities, in particular, those vulnerable and extremely vulnerable groups, including:
- Arranging food and medication – including for extremely clinically vulnerable shielders, for whom the national systems for providing food and/or medication have been delayed or failed. Our two Food Hubs have delivered over 22,000 food parcels to over 3,300 households.
- Implementing the new COVID-19 hospital discharge arrangements.
- Maintaining Mental Health Act assessments, Safeguarding and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards despite depleted social work staffing.
- Establishing services to care for vulnerable people whose carer is admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
- Providing emergency stocks of PPE for care homes and supporting them with infection management and leading a London-wide project to secure emergency PPE for care workers.
- Increasing home care workers’ pay to London Living Wage levels.
- Our Connected Communities helpline has provided advice and support to over 14,500 residents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the profile of social care, and the response by Local Authorities has demonstrated well developed systems, extensive local contacts and the significance and continued importance of social care in the COVID-19 response.
Nationally, it is estimated that Local Authorities face a COVID-19 funding shortfall of £10bn. Adult Social Care faces a number of challenges arising from a combination of long-term funding cuts, population growth, and an increase in complex social care cases, which are further exacerbated by the added pressures of the COVID-19.
In response, Cllr James has started a petition calling for the government to fulfil their promise to give councils “whatever is necessary” to tackle this pandemic and to fully fund Adult Social Care.
Cllr James continues:
“We welcome the comments from Sir Simon Stevens. Adult Social Care is invaluable yet incredibly underfunded; the pandemic has only highlighted the importance of the role it plays in relation to the NHS.
“Now is the time for a National Care Service to give Adult Social Care parity with the NHS and ensure that those who need care and support get the properly funded, reliable and high-quality service they deserve.
“As a result of the pandemic, councils face a £10bn funding shortfall putting disabled, frail and older people, and care workers at risk. That’s why I have started this petition, calling for the government to provide full funding of Adult Social Care, now and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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