Social care will receive an additional £2 billion over the next three years, chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced.
Other announcements include an additional £325 million will be committed to allow the first NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans to proceed, while a £100 million ‘triage fund’ will be delivered to support GPs to work in Accident and Emergency departments. The chancellor also mentioned that while long-term funding solution for the NHS was being explored, a ‘death tax’ would not be implemented.
‘The additional money announced today is welcome recognition of the huge pressures facing social care. It will provide some short-term relief for older and disabled people, families and carers who are being let down by the current system,’ said Chris Ham, chief executive of the Kings Fund.
While some support was given for the social care announcement, many prominent NHS figures stated that the proposals did not do enough to resolve the pressures on the NHS and social care.
‘Some financial support for NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) is welcome but the Government needs to clarify how many plans will be supported by this limited pot of money and guarantee that it will be channelled into struggling community services,’ said Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN.
‘While the increase in the social care budget is a positive move in the right direction, £2 billion over the next three years is not enough,’ said Kate Parkinson, lecturer in social work at the University of Salford. ‘The funding deficit for 2017/18 alone is predicted to be between £1.3 and £1.9 billion, and for 2019/2020, anywhere between £1.1 and £2.6 billion.’