Agenda item

Government Green Paper and Future Funding

(To receive an update from Glen Garrod, Executive Director of Adult Care and Community Wellbeing, who will provide the Committee with information on the latest position regarding the Government Green Paper and the future funding of Adult Social Care)


The Committee received an update from Glen Garrod, Executive Director Adult Care and Community Wellbeing, in relation to the latest position regarding the Government Green Paper and the future funding of Adult Social Care.


It was reported that although the situation was fluid, it was increasingly less likely that a green paper would be published on care and support for older people in the foreseeable future.  The original intention had been that the green paper would inform the comprehensive spending review, which in turn would determine the future spending for Adult Social Care.  However, the upcoming spending review may only be for one year, to cover the period 2020/21.


The other challenge was that any significant changes would require primary legislation, but now there was not enough time to take legislation through the parliamentary process. 


It was highlighted that for 20 years there had been various discussions on how adult care should be funded and there was now a pressing need to address this issue.  There were a number of elements which would have been within the green paper, such as support for carers.  The Carer's Action Plan had been published in 2018, but there was limited funding to support it.


Members were reminded that the Better Care Fund was due to end on 31 March 2020, if it was not carried forward in some form.  It was highlighted that there may be a number of announcements in the next 6 - 12 months, but these may not necessarily present a long term solution.  For some councils, there was severe pressure on their adult social care budgets, but this was not the case for Lincolnshire.


(NOTE: Councillor Mrs M J Overton MBE joined the meeting at 11.00am)


Members were encouraged to watch two BBC Panorama programmes which were due to be aired on 29 May 2019 and 5 June 2019 which would be entirely focused on adult social care.  These programmes followed a number of different families based in Somerset.  Somerset County Council had experienced particular difficulties the previous year in relation to adult social care.


In terms of the green paper on Prevention is Better than Cure, it was reported there was still a lot of interest from the Government to publish this.  It was thought it would cover the areas of digital, some areas of public health as well as housing.  It was noted that there was a lot of talk about housing in the context of adult social care, however there would be a need for three government departments to work together and see this as a joint enterprise.


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the update, and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

·         Members were advised that the NHS had carried out an exercise to reduce the number of non-medical items provided for free on prescription, some of which were dietary.  It was noted that this may be more of a matter for the Health Scrutiny Committee.

·         In relation to the Panorama programmes, it was queried whether there was going to be a compare and contrast which would show those areas that were doing well.  Members were advised that this was not planned.  However, officers were doing work behind the scenes on material which the BBC would be able to use after the programme aired.

·         The Local Government Association was doing some work on why some councils were financially challenged, whilst others were not.  There had been an attempt to get government funding to support this work.  It was noted that it was a very complicated situation.

·         Concerns were raised regarding the problems that had been highlighted in the press and media regarding care homes, and how they could be prevented from closing.  Members were advised that this would be covered by the next agenda item.

·         It was noted that Lincolnshire was one of the best top 10 councils for DTOC's in the country. 

·         It was noted that it was disappointing news that there was unlikely to be a four year comprehensive spending review.  There was a lot of work on carers funding, sparsity and rurality issues.  It would be a significant challenge for the adult social care budget if this year was the last budget supported by the Better Care Fund.

·         It was noted that there was a lot of work at the moment to try and make a difficult situation better.  The Leader of the Council had attended a meeting of the County Council Network on 21 May 2019, and representatives had been arguing for the Government to include consideration of rurality in assessing local authority spending needs.  There was recognition that rurality had not previously been given sufficient weighting into local government funding.




            That the update be noted.



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