The House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee has written to chancellor Jeremy Hunt following his Autumn Statement.
According to the committee, the Autumn Statement leaves many questions unanswered, both in terms of the breakdown of the funding that has been made available, and the government’s strategy and vision for adult social care.
The letter, also addressed to secretary of state for health and social care Steve Barclay MP, precedes the committee’s forthcoming report on adult social care. It expresses disappointment that the Autumn Statement made no reference to unpaid carers and asks what targeted support has been made available for those who provide ‘the backbone of our health and social care systems.’
The letter also asks for:
- Assurances that planned additional funding raised through increased to Council Tax will be ringfenced for adult social care.
- Clarification on the protection made to the £1.7bn investment in social care pledged by the government in the People at the Heart of Care white paper.
- Clarification on the size and nature of 200,000 more care packages announced in the statement.
- Clarification on how the impact of the additional funding will be monitored.
Chair of the committee, Baroness Andrews, said: “Whilst we welcome the additional £4.7bn that has been unlocked for social care in the next three years, this falls short of what was recommended to our committee by Mr Hunt himself only a few months ago, when he pointed to the estimate produced by the Health and Social Care Committee, which he Chaired at the time, and indicated the need to provide an additional £7bn in funding for adult social care in 2023/24.
“Moreover, freezing one area of adult social care policy, much needed and long promised, to pay for other aspects of the service which are underfunded and understaffed, is not the coherent, realistic long term national plan for adult social care which is so urgently needed.”