Cambs adult social care needs extra £50m in funding

Elderly woman stock image

It is estimated an additional £50m in funding will be needed for adult social care services in Cambridgeshire over the next five years. (Stock image) - Credit: Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

Adult social care in Cambridgeshire will need an additional £50m in funding over the next five years as demand for services grows, it has been estimated.

The figure was revealed as two Cambridgeshire county councillors pledged their support for a national call for an urgent cash injection into the sector and reform of the system.

A national body made up of leaders from English social care organisations has written to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services says the cash is required to address short-term funding challenges, which have been worsened by Covid, and outlines plans for a “sustainable long-term future of social care”.

Labour councillor Richard Howitt and Lib Dem councillor Susan van de Ven, the chair and vice chair of the Adults and Health Committee respectively, are both publicly backing the letter.

Cambridgeshire County Council explained the Adult Social Care budge is dependent on over £25m in government grant funding that is not confirmed to continue in the long term. This currently makes up 10 per cent of its budget.

It also claims that ‘shire counties’ have consistently received less funding from government than any other types of council, despite Cambridgeshire being one of the fastest growing local authorities.

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In 2021/22, it is stated that shire counties received between a third and a half less funding than other councils.

Cllr Richard Howitt (L) and Cllr Susan van de Ven (R)

Cllr Richard Howitt (L) and Cllr Susan van de Ven (R), chair and vice chair of the Adults and Health Committee respectively at Cambridgeshire County Council. - Credit: Cambridgeshire County Council

Cllr Howitt said: “For too long adult social care has been underfunded by government...

“... [it] now requires a long term increase in funding and reform, not only to help the recovery of the system from the pandemic but also for its long term sustainability.

“With more funding, we could support our most vulnerable adults and provide them with more services that could keep them independent in their own homes for longer, which is often where they want to be.

“This request is not only reasonable, it is also vital if we are to have a fully functioning social care system to give people the services they need.”

Cllr van de Ven added: “Not only do we need an immediate cash influx to stabilise the system, we now need long term funding and reform so we can plan clearly in order to give our communities in our changing county the services they require and deserve.”