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Council cannot keep spending on social care - report
1:30pm Friday 21st September 2012 in News
Herefordshire Council cannot continue its current spend on adult social care without “significant risk” to other services.
A report prepared for the council’s health and wellbeing board says the council cannot afford to maintain spending patterns on adult social care given the forecast increases in demographic pressures and increased levels of need.
The report recognises the scale of the challenge facing Herefordshire as greater than for statistical neighbours, with the council overspending on adult social care year-on-year.
Budgets across health and social care in the county are under significant pressure as demand continues to rise.
A history of overspending has budgets being balanced by injections of in-year additional resources or end of year adjustments.
Herefordshire Council has undertaken a programme of root and branch reviews to assess the role of the council in commissioning and providing services in the future, and what can be done in anticipating future budget reductions at a national level.
The Adult Social Care Budget Plan has been set to deliver savings valued at £7.956 million alongside the wider context of budget challenges across the health and social care system.
Wye Valley NHS Trust has a predicted deficit of £9.6m and there is a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plan set to deliver £10m of savings.
Around £981,000 had been cut to the end of July on the adult social care budget with a further £521,000 identified – subject to audit confirmation – giving a potential total of £1,502m compared to a target profile of £1,186m.
The report recognises that, at this point in the year, the costs of support are creating a “significant budget pressure” particularly in domicillary care for older people.
Funding issues around adult social care have to be set against equally significant challenges facing the council’s overall finances.
The council’s five year financial strategy includes an estimated 29.7 per cent reduction in the government formula grant.