Future funding of Adult Social Care needs a sustainable foundation, Salvation Army says at Conservative Party fringe event

published on 3 Oct 2018

In a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham The Salvation Army hosted a discussion exploring the current challenges and future funding of adult social care. The event aimed to highlight the repercussions of not introducing solutions that consider the needs of everyone, including older renters – in particular the 25 per cent of over-75-year-olds who do not own their own home.  As a result they can be left with limited choice about when and where they receive residential care in the current asset-based funding system.

Drawing on their own experiences to highlight the issues and potential ways forward, six experts, representing each aspect of a person’s possible journey through the adult social care system, led discussion about the present state and future of the sector.

Speakers included Chair of The Relatives and Residents Association, Judy Downey; Salvation Army Officer and GP, Will Pearson; Managing Director of Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals, Andrew Pike; Leader of Oxfordshire County Council and Chair of the LGA Community and Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth; Salvation Army Territorial Envoy and a former Senior Specialist Adviser (Continuing Care) for Surrey County Council, Ailsa Flinders; and Salvation Army Assistant Director for Practice and Development with Older People Services and a former care home manager, Nikki Thompson.

The Salvation Army is calling for a departure from the current funding model, recommending that a range of possible funding alternatives  be considered, including: a Social Care Premium (as recommended by the Health and Social Care, Housing, Communities and Local Government joint select committee June 2018); a one per cent increase on Income Tax (as recommended by the Health Foundation and King’s Fund); and/or a one per cent increase on National Insurance (as recommended by the Health Foundation and King’s Fund).

Concluding the discussions from the day, The Salvation Army Director of Older People Services Elaine Cobb said:

“As a society we are facing the challenges of a growing demographic of older people requiring care - challenges in housing, health care, for carers, as well as inter-generational and family challenges.

 “We need proposals and a national funding commitment, which recognises the true costs of care, offers equal care for equal need, and supports local authorities and providers in their efforts to innovate and improve the quality of care. We are asking the government to address the needs of the poorest members of society in its anticipated green paper on the future of adult social care and advocate that future funding of adult social care has a sustainable foundation.”

“Through our campaign Older renters: The costs of care if you don’t own your home  we will continue to draw attention to the needs of the 1 in 4 over 75s who are renters, whose needs are currently being overlooked by a system and debate that is focused largely on the needs and circumstances of those with assets..

The Salvation Army is awaiting the Government’s Green Paper addressing the key principles including quality, integration between the NHS and social care, choice and control, support for carers, a sustainable system, and a valued workforce.