The Government announced earlier this year that extra funding would be available for local councils in recognition of the increasing pressures in caring for an increasing, ageing population. The £15 million grant available for Staffordshire will help ease the pressure on caring for a growing ageing population, and will be invested in a raft of measures to help protect social care and support people in their homes and in their communities.
Staffordshire has been awarded £30 million over the next three years with £15m for this year to help meet adult social care needs, stabilise the care provider market and reduce pressure on the NHS. This year, the funding will help towards covering additional costs for older adults and their carers to keep them out of hospital and in their homes, help towards increased care costs for people with learning disabilities and help towards increased care staff wage bills. Without the grant it would have be difficult for the county council to continue to fund some services, which would have in turn put additional pressure on the NHS.
Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, said: “This year the county council will be spending a record £300 million on the social care of adults, people with learning disabilities and children in our care. The Government has recognised the incredible funding pressures to provide social care for an increasing number of elderly people in counties like Staffordshire with the limited budgets available.
“This extra grant will help prevent some people from having to go into hospital by caring for them in their homes and communities where possible, will help towards paying increased care staff wage bills and will reduce delays in hospital discharges and assessments.
“However, while this funding is both welcome and needed to protect services, it is important to recognise that this is limited and it is more important than ever that people keep themselves as healthy and independent as possible and plan ahead for their later years.”
A report to the county council’s Cabinet on June 21, outlines plans for the additional adult social care funding and details progress on developing the Better Care Fund plan for 2017 to 2019 with the clinical commission groups to help deliver integrated care in people’s homes and local communities rather than in hospitals.
The plan aims to avoid admission to hospital, allow those in hospital back home in a timely, safe manner; focus on addressing social care pressures from an ageing population and meeting an increased wage bill due to the introduction of the national living wage; and support the work of community health and social care teams in the county.
Once the county council, the CCGs and Staffordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board have agreed the plan it will be submitted to NHS England.