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Social care services across England are set to receive an extra £2bn over the next three years.




Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement in Wednesday’s budget and said £1bn of the money will be available to local councils in the next year. The move comes after the government was put under pressure to deliver more resources for social care budgets from organisations such as the Local Government Association.


New care packages


In his budget speech - the last before the UK formally gives notice of its departure from the EU - the Chancellor recognised how the ageing population was impacting on social care services and said the extra funding would allow councils in England to “act now to commission new care packages.”

He also said the government would set out the options for long-term funding of the social care system later in the year but suggested these would not include any remodelling of inheritance tax upon death, a so-called “death tax.”

The Chancellor also pledged £100m to place more GPs in accident and emergency departments for next winter and an additional £325m to allow the first NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans to proceed.


Swift reaction to new funding


Several organisations were quick to respond to the new funding for the social care system and measures to support health and care transformation. They also await the government’s planned Green Paper on social care funding.

Andrew McCracken from National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities, welcomed the money but added “there needs to be a long-term solution which prioritises community-based care.”

He said that meant investing in prevention, building the primary and community care workforce and enabling funding for the voluntary and community sector.


Funding will “ease some of the issues”


Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “The extra funding will definitely help, but we await the details.”

He said that while the social care review was important there remained a need for a wider cross-party consensus based on objective evidence about what funding is needed for both health and social care over the longer term and how this should be paid for.

Royal College of Physicians president Professor Jane Dacre said the £2bn allocated to social care funding “will ease some of the issues” but added that with NHS and social care inextricably intertwined, the current NHS performance was being “significantly affected by the record number of patients stuck in hospital.”

The Patients Association said it had hoped for recurring funding rather than “emergency cash” for social care but said Mr Hammond deserved credit for commissioning a green paper on a sustainable funding model for social care.


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