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Who cares about the funding of care?

The latest CQC report ‘The state of health care and adult social care in England 2016/17’ paints a picture of over-stretched services where pressures are being felt at a local level and to different degrees. Early on the report highlights that “The future of care for older people and the adult care system is one of the greatest unresolved public policy issues of our time.”

The LGA’s (Local Government Association) report on Adult Social Care Funding reminds us that over the last 20 years governments of all colours, along with several notable independent commissions and reviews, have attempted to plot a path for securing the sustainability of adult social care. Nobody has come up with an achievable, let-alone, sustainable plan.

The LGA concludes that “inertia remains the characteristic we typically associate with the prospects for future funding and reform of adult social care.”

Another government consultation on adult social care was announced in the Queen’s Speech back in June but it’s not due to start until 2018. In the meantime all the evidence points to the fact that things are only going to get worse:

 

  • the number of people aged 85 or over in England is set to more than double over the next two decades
  • there is growing unmet care need – estimates show that 1.2 million people are not receiving the help they need – an increase of 18% on last year (and 48% increase since 2010)
  • unmet care needs have the potential to translate into further pressure on services at a future date, when people’s need become more serious

 

When we look at the finances the picture becomes even bleaker. Margaret Wilcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, told delegates at their annual conference that by March £6bn will have been cut from adult social care budgets since 2010.

LGA estimates that local government faces a funding gap of £5.8 billion by 2020. £1 billion of this is attributable to adult social care. They are quick to point out this only includes the unavoidable cost of demography, inflation and the National Living Wage, and doesn’t address unmet needs.

Age UK estimates that an additional £4.8 billion a year is needed to ensure that every older person who currently has one or more unmet needs has access to social care, rising to £5.75 billion by 2020/21. 

On top of the £5.8 billion gap by the end of the decade, LGA say that a bare minimum of £1.3 billion is required immediately, and in future years, to stabilise the adult social care provider market.  

While everyone is worrying about maintaining the fragile market, not enough investment is being made in prevention to help reduce future pressures. This is an area where technology can make a massive difference but it is difficult for over-stretched social care services to invest in the latest preventative technologies when their focus has to be the here and now. Innovations like our own ARMED (Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection) have the ability to improve quality of life for individuals as well as reduce health and social care costs further down the line. 

Acknowledging the scale of the financial challenge feels a long way from developing a workable solution. Whilst one-off grants, the council tax precept and the Better Care Fund all represent a step in the right direction they still fall short. Industry leaders are now desperate for a long-term sustainable funding solution with LGA and ADASS becoming more passionate in their pleas for answers.

With a budget looming in November let’s hope it’s time for a financial declaration that shows how much we as a nation care about care.  

How CM2000 can help

It’s clear the funding pressures are enormous. CM2000 has been working with Councils for almost 20 years, providing homecare technology that saves money and improves quality. Of course it’s not a magic wand but if you could save 25% of commissioned costs by verifying care delivery, and that meant you could provide services to more people, then that’s got to be worth considering.

When a Provider fails it can have devastating consequences for those receiving care. That’s why PAMMS (Provider Assessment and Market Management Solution) is proving popular amongst Councils that want to improve Provider assessment, data sharing, market oversight and their ability to spot risks before problems arise.     

CM2000’s ARMED (Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection) combines pioneering predictive analytics modelling with innovative wearable technology, and health and social care data, providing a powerful tool to identify risk indicators, particularly those at risk of falling, earlier in the care cycle. ARMED encourages better self-management at home, and provides data to facilitate early intervention and prevention.

For more information call 0121 308 3010.

Written by Simon Rider, Group Marketing Director

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