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Local authority social care responsibilities under the spotlight

10 June 2016

Two parliamentary announcements this week have focussed attention on local authority’s ability to be able to support people with personal budgets and implement the Care Act.

The first is a report from the Public Accounts Committee that has been taking evidence and considering how well local councils are dealing with personal budgets.  The committee has found that: -

  • People are not getting the support they need consistently in order to make the most out of personalising care;
  • The Department of Health does not believe that everyone who councils say are getting a personal budget are actually being given choice and control over the type of support they receive;
  • There is a real threat that many care providers will not survive because of inadequate funding.

The committee is calling on the department of Health to provide greater clarity on how the Care Act can be implemented, to state what good care and proportionate support looks like, and how much it costs.

Sue Bott, Deputy CEO Disability Rights UK comments “The report is welcome in shining a light on how poorly personal budgets are being implemented in some areas particularly in terms of making sure people have adequate support.  The committee states that they ‘are not assured that local authorities can fully personalise care whilst seeking to save money’.  ‘We share that view.”

View the full report

The second announcement was from the Department for Communities and Local Government Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the financial sustainability of local authority adult social care and the quality of care provided

The Committee is inviting written submissions on the following issues:

  • The impact of the 2015 Spending Review and Local Government Finance Settlement, including the two per cent council tax precept, the Better Care Fund, and the National Living Wage, on whether the funding available for social care is sufficient to enable local authorities to fulfil their duties under the Care Act 2014 to assess and meet the needs of people in need of care and support
  • The role of carers in providing adult social care, the relationship between local authorities and carers and whether the funding available is sufficient for local authorities to assess and meet their needs
  • The effect of local authority adult social care commissioning practices and market oversight functions on their local social care markets
  • Innovative approaches to the design and delivery of adult social care, for example use of digital technology, and the progress made by local authorities and health services to deliver integrated health and social care by 2020, and the expected outcomes

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 19 August 2016.

We urge our members to submit evidence to the enquiry particularly disabled people’s organisations supporting people with personal budgets.  You can either send your evidence to us and we will include it in our submission send to Sue.Bott@disabilityrightsuk.org or directly to the committee