Today I would like to update the House on social care funding following the Opposition day debate of 25 April 2018.
We know that social care services are facing pressures from rising demand for care, and the Government has taken steps to support the sector. That is why we announced an additional £2billion central Government funding for adult social care in the 2017 Spring Budget. In total, Government has given councils access to up to £9.4 billion additional funding for social care from 2017/18 to 2019/20, including the 2018/19 Local Government Finance settlement announcement of a £150 million adult social care support grant.
The action we have taken means that funding available for social care is increasing by 8% in real terms from 2015/16 to 2019/20.
This funding allows councils to support more people and sustain a diverse care market.
It is also helping to ease pressures on the NHS, including by supporting more people to be discharged from hospital and into care as soon as they are ready.
We have already seen a real difference to services across the country; social care related delayed transfers of care had been rising year-on-year from 2014 up to February 2017, but since taking action last year we have achieved a reduction of 40%. We are taking additional steps to ensure that those areas facing the greatest challenges improve services at the interface between social care and the NHS.
By passing the Care Act, this Government established a national threshold that defines the care needs that local authorities must meet. This eliminates the postcode lottery of eligibility across England, and means that all councils have statutory duties to look after the vulnerable, elderly and disabled people in their area.
Last year local authorities in England advised over 500,000 people on how to access services to meet their care needs. This includes services provided by leisure, housing, transport and care providers as well as voluntary groups.
According to the Care Quality Commission, 81% of adult social care providers are good or outstanding – testament to the many hardworking and committed professionals working in care to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.
But still too many people experience care that is not of the quality we would all want for our own loved ones; and there is too much variation in quality and outcomes between different services and different parts of the country.
The Department of Health and Social Care is working with the adult social care sector to implement Quality Matters – a shared commitment to take action to achieve high quality adult social care for service users, families, carers and everyone working in the sector.
An ageing society means that we need to reach a longer-term sustainable settlement for social care. This is why the Government will publish a Green Paper on Care and Support to set out our proposals for reform.
The health and social care systems are two sides of the same coin, and decisions on future reforms must therefore be aligned. That is why we will now publish the Green Paper in the autumn, around the same time as the NHS plan. Social care funding will be agreed at the forthcoming spending review, alongside the rest of the local government settlement.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: