The Local Government Association are calling for a ‘1948 moment’ for social care

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Local Government Association (LGA) are calling for a ‘1948 moment’ for Social Care and are asking the Government to publish its proposals for the future of adult social care ahead of this year’s spending review and before the summer parliamentary recess.

The Local Government Association’s own analysis before the 2020 Spending Review showed that adult social care faced a funding gap of £2.2 billion in 2021/22, rising to £2.7 billion in 2023/24. This is just for ‘core pressures’ (demography, inflation and National Living Wage increases) and the provider market gap (the difference between what providers say is the cost of delivering care and what councils pay). This does not take into account the cost of tackling many of the challenges facing social care, such as unmet and under-met need; a lack of funding for prevention; an over-stretched and undervalued workforce; and growing strain on unpaid carers.

The LGA are asking the government to think bigger and to learn from the pandemic and that a better future for adult social care must be one of the legacies of COVID-19.

A 1948 moment for Social Care

The Local Government Association are calling for a  ‘1948 moment’ for social care; a moment where we collectively aspire to something bigger and better for social care.

The LGA are aware that delivering such a moment cannot happen instantly and therefore support calls for a long-term plan for social care, equivalent to that for the NHS. Only last week, the National Audit Office were also recommending a cross -government, long-term, funded vision for care in their report The Adult Social Care Market in England.

The Local Government Association believe the immediate priorities must be:

  • investment to help meet the continuing costs of COVID-19 on social care, particularly on the care workforce and unpaid carers
  • investment to tackle the social care funding gap.

The funding can then begin to help the process of moving to a new system of social care, in which the following priorities must be:

  • addressing unmet and under-met need by revisiting the existing model of eligibility
  • tackling workforce challenges by developing a new deal for the workforce
  • improving provision, choice and control by thinking about how the system can best be driven by people’s needs and experiences
  • improving quality by being clear on the outcomes we are collectively seeking to achieve and how performance against them is coordinated and supported, including the role of sector-led support
  • securing a more rational, sustainable and transparent funding model that is based on universal risk pooling
  • protecting people from facing catastrophic costs.

The LGA believe that having these priorities met will deliver the truly person-centred and preventative care that is needed to underpin people’s wellbeing.You can read more about the LGA's vision for the future of social care here.