GovWire

Vulnerable people receive almost 13 million extra hours of home care

Department Of Health

October 7
13:49 2019

Vulnerable people across England receivedalmost13 million extra hours of home visits from social care workers last year as part of a 674 million government funding programme, new statistics show.

TheImproved Better Care Fund (iBCF) works to connect the NHS and local council care services so people can manage their own health and wellbeing and live independently in their communities foras longaspossible.

As well as increasing the number of home care hours, thefunding provided in 2018 to 2019 also helped to support the social care market by enabling councils to increase the fees paid to social care providers by more than 4%.

This additional funding formspartof an additional 2 billion for councils to deliver adult social care from 2017to 2020, announced at Spring Budget 2017.

Local Government Minister, Luke Hall MP, said:

Councils are on the frontline caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and we are determined tocontinuesupportingthem in this vital work.

We have listened to their feedbackandI am delighted our funding has provided almost 13 million extra hours of care athome, improving peoples quality of life and giving them greater independence.

Minister for Care, CarolineDinenageMP, said:

We are determined to ensure people are able to access good quality, compassionate care by better joining up councils and health services.

The Improved Better Care Fund has had a huge impact on local communities ensuring more of our most vulnerable in society are getting the help and support they need to stay living at home for longer and ensuring the local care market stays sustainable.

The Improved Better Care Fundis:

  • helping to keep people living independently at home
  • reducing delayed discharges across the social care system
  • achieving closer working between the NHS and social care services

Health and Wellbeing Boards, which coordinate the provision of social care in 150 areas in England, reported progress from money spent to meet adult social care needs, reducing pressure on the NHS, and support the social care market.

The Boards have reported thatthis years fundinghas:

  • paid for almost 75,000 extra home care packages (providing almost 13 million additional hours of home care)
  • paid for over 15,500 additional care home placements
  • enabled councils to increase fees paid to social care providersforhome care, residential care and nursing care in 90% of Health and Wellbeing Board areas; resulting in home care fee rates increasingby 4.7%, residential by 4% and nursing home fee rates by 4.1% compared to 2017 to 2018
  • helped to reduce pressures on the NHS by tackling delayed transfers of care freeing up hospital beds through supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready, with 122 projects last year

As announced at the Spending Round, next year local government will have access to an additional 1 billion grant for adults and childrens social care, on top ofexisting social care funding (which includes theiBCF).

This government is also consulting on a 2% precept which would give councils access to a further 500 million for adult social care next year.

Further information

Adult social care provides support for older people and working age adults with personal and practical care needs, as well as support for theircarers.

In England, adults may be cared for informally by family, friends and neighbours, or formally through services they or their local authority pay for.

Publicly funded adult social care is means-tested and primarily funded through local government; those with eligible needs, assets of less than 23,250 and low incomes can receive help towards care and support costs.

Ministerspreviouslyconfirmedtherenewal of theBetter Care Fund for 2019 to 2020.

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