A senior Islington politician has called on the Government to give local authorities more money to fund adult social care “fit for the future”.
In the week of the Government’s Spring Budget, Cllr Nurullah Turan, the council’s executive member for health and social care, penned an open letter warning that “national social care funding is at crisis point”.
Earlier this year, Islington Council confirmed that part of its 4.99% council tax rise would be used to meet the rising costs of adult social care.
The council chose to add the full 2% Adult Social Care Precept onto its council tax bills for the financial year 2023-24.
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But in his letter to Steve Barclay, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Cllr Turan said that this was the “last thing” the council wanted to do amid the rising cost of living, but that it was left with “no choice”.
He accused the Government of “passing the buck to local authorities” on the issue of adult social care funding and said that the current approach “is not sustainable”.
Cllr Turan warned that although the council tax increase will raise about £2 million to help fund these services this year in Islington, the council still expects costs to outstrip the current adult social care budget by £3.3 million.
He added: “We must provide these services by law, so we have to find savings elsewhere to balance our budget.”
Yesterday (March 16), Helen Whately MP, the minister for social care, told a Care England conference: “I’m here as part of a Government that backs social care.
“We’ve got a former health and social care secretary as chancellor and we have got record-breaking funding – £7.5 billion for adult social care and discharge over the next two years committed back at the autumn statement.
“This is the biggest funding increase for social care in history. So we have to seize this moment.”
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But research from Care England said that adult social care is “on the precipice”.
A survey it conducted among adult social care providers during December and January found that: “In 2022, 82% of adult social care providers were either in deficit or experienced a decrease in their surplus.
“Of those who reported a decline in their surplus, almost half (45%) reported that it would turn into a deficit within two years.”
The Department of Health and Social Care has not responded to a request for comment.