Money for social care is not ‘extra’ money

The Government’s announcement in yesterday’s Budget of ‘extra’ money for social care is complete smoke and mirrors and fails to address the issues of chronic underfunding of social care. In Brent, the Tories and Lib Dems have taken over £150 million from Brent Council, significantly reducing the money that we have available locally to pay for social care.

The announcement in yesterday’s Budget was for £2billion ‘extra’ funding over the next three years.

The Government has completely ignored the fact the the Conservatives and the Lib Dems have taken £5.5 billion out of social care in the last few years. In simple balance terms, the £2 billion puts social care in a net position of  MINUS £2.5billion.

In addition, the Government has only committed this money for a three year period so as far as we can account for, in 2020, we will be back in the position of -£5.5 billion as the ‘extra’ £2 billion will no longer be there. In addition we have no information on how the money will be allocated.

Don’t be fooled by the Government saying they are putting more money into social care! They are merely applying a sticking plaster on an open headwound, having caused the injury themselves!

Safeguarding in Brent

Our Safeguarding service at Brent Council is one of the hidden gems in our service portfolio. Not quite as obvious as the bin in front of your house or the streetlights on your road, but Safeguarding in Brent is widely respected as one of the best in the country.

Abuse is not just physical, but also emotional and financial. It is everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to stop it.

The number of reported cases of abuse of adults in Brent has risen from 435 in 2011-12 to 664 at the start of 2013, we fear the real figure may be far higher. Even with the increase in reporting of incidents, inevitably, abuse of adults in all categories is still largely unnoticed and under-reported.

That is why we are promoting our Safeguarding service through a Borough-wide poster campaign. You may have seen images like the one below advertised near you.

abuse poster

Our service campaign has also picked up attention nationally and has been covered in the Guardian here – LINK

Could your organisation provide meals to vulnerable people in Brent?

English: Meals on Wheels 'HotShot' delivery ve...
English: Meals on Wheels ‘HotShot’ delivery vehicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are exploring different ways in which we can deliver our meals on wheels service. We want to have a system where people can chose where they want their meals to come from and see if we can work out a feasible way of making this happen.

If you know of any organisations or are part of one that would be interested in learning more and could also deliver a meals service to elderly and disabled people in Brent, email Communitymeals@brent.gov.uk to get involved.

Major Brent Adult Social Care Survey under way!

Brent Council is embarking on a major engagement exercise with people who use our care services.

We will be contacting a random selection of 1,500 Adult Social Care users and asking them to complete a short survey about the type of care they receive from us.

The postal questionnaire will ask a range of questions about all aspects of our Adult Social Care service and is completely anonymous. All responses will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be shared with the Department of Health.

Findings from the survey will be used as a basis to drive further improvements to the Council’s Social Care services so it’s really important that if you receive one of these, that you respond.

It’s been a while since we conducted a major survey like this among our customers and on this scale to really gauge what they think about our service and how we can improve it. We are very keen to get as many responses as possible to ensure we’re on the right track to meeting the needs of elderly and vulnerable residents.

The deadline for people to return their survey forms in the pre-paid envelope by 15 April 2013.

Brent’s graph of doom

The graph below looks quite complicated but is the result of some sophisticated modelling in studying adult social care pressures in Brent. It looks at the impact on Brent Council’s budget because of adult social care pressures.

 

Brent GOD

The headline bars that provide concern are the sky blue trend line and the green trend line. It shows the actual budget gap as we move towards 2020.

Brent is impacted more than other boroughs through central Government funding cuts because 80% of our funding is sourced from them. The sky blue line projects the spending gap if the next Comprehensive Spending Review is as harsh to Brent Council as the one supported and voted for by Sarah Teather in 2010.

The green line predicates the budget gap without central government cuts and just  looking at demand and other cost changes.

The sky blue trend line shows that rising demand for care along with budgets cuts could create a gap of £45 million in Brent Council’s budget by 2020.

Without fundamental change in the way social care services are delivered and how Councils are funded, local authorities will be finding themselves calling on Government to remove statutory obligations from them so that we can stop providing certain services altogether. The Local Government Association says that funding for services such as libraries and leisure centres will fall by 90% as a result of rising adult social care and other compulsory costs, meaning many could disappear by the end of the decade.

Yesterday I blogged about Labour’s landmark process for health and social care reform introducing Whole Person Care  – LINK

Labour is working on practical solutions to the care ticking bomb crisis.