The Government’s new investment in adult social care announced by the Prime Minister last week has been slammed as inadequate for the Isle of Wight.
Cllr Karl Love, the cabinet member for adult social care, said it would not go anywhere near fixing the Island’s problem, falling well below what was expected, and may make the situation worse.
In recent weeks, the Island has continued to suffer a care crisis, with a lack of staff to fulfil roles, resulting in one provider advising those it cared for it would no longer be able to provide service.
To try and help the national crisis, prime minister Boris Johnson outlined a shake-up of adult social care, including the way it was funded, which will also help pay for a post-Covid catch-up programme for the NHS.
Social care is paid for through local authorities but with a hike in National Insurance, which will be branded in coming years as a health and social care levy, the government hopes to earn £5.4 billion over three years specifically earmarked for social care in England, with £500 million for workforce training.
While the government pledges councils will have access to adequate funds to meet their demands, Cllr Love said while it was a step in the right direction, he was gobsmacked at what was proposed.
Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting last week, Cllr Love said it would still leave the council in a position where the adult social care budget would need to be cut next year.
Cllr Chris Jarman, the cabinet member for strategic finance, corporate resources and transformational change, expressed his personal enormous dissatisfaction with what was announced.
He said the ramifications of the reforms would echo for quite some time, having a significant impact on the authority and create additional risks.
Highlighting some of the areas of concern, Cllr Jarman said there would be no new money for existing services and cost caps would have additional implications and burdens for the council.
He said: “We will be in a position of assuming greater risks, greater costs, greater management with very minimal ability to offset that in any way.”
Cllr Jarman was also concerned, looking at the demographic here, the Island may be disproportionality impacted negatively by the reforms.
Trying to solve the problems Covid has brought the NHS, including dealing with the backlog of medical surgery and other missed appointments, £16 billion nationally has been pencilled, by the government, to go to NHS England over three years.
However, Cllr Love said the government failed to recognise how adult social care works in tandem with the NHS.