Social Care

Our social care system cares for over a million people and I would like to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of carers who work in it. Since 2010, annual local authority expenditure on adult social care across England has risen by £1 billion but despite this additional expenditure, the system clearly remains under pressure. I therefore warmly welcome the fact that the Government has made £9.4 billion available in dedicated funding for adult social care for local authorities through to 2020.
As part of this funding, councils have been given the flexibility to raise more income through the adult social care precept by up to three per cent in the forthcoming financial year. Even if all local authorities with responsibility for adult social care took up this new flexibility in full, council tax bills are still expected to be lower in real terms in 2018-19 than in 2010-11, measured against CPIH inflation. 

Furthermore, in April 2016, our own region of Greater Manchester become the first English region to gain control of its health and social care spending. The £6 billion health and social care budget is now managed by councils and health groups as part of an extension of devolved powers. The Greater Manchester Strategic Partnership now makes decisions on how to target specific health issues and I firmly believe that Integrating health and social care services in our region is helping to ease the pressure on hospitals. The new partnership, chaired by Lord Peter Smith, comprises 37 organisations including hospital trusts, NHS England, the 10 borough councils and GP commissioners.

I recognise, though, that money is not the only solution. Better integration between health and social care provision, creating genuinely people-centred coordinated care, is also required. That is why I welcome that a green paper will be published this summer, setting out proposals for reforming adult social care in England and securing a resilient and sustainable system.