Committee’s inquiry into the quality and financial sustainability of adult care and support – Inclusion London’s evidence

Personal Budgets have been undermined by a lack of funding from central government and a lack of protections for social care and support budgets by local authorities.

Inclusion London submitted evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s inquiry into the financial sustainability of local authority adult social care and the quality of care provided.

The inquiry is open to written evidence until Friday 19 August 2016 more information is available at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/news-parliament-2015/adult-social-care-launch-16-17/

Our evidence highlighted that the Care Act 2014 gives the right for adult social care and support recipients to a Personal Budget,[1] which was welcomed by Disabled people because the original intention of Personal Budgets (PBs) was to give Disabled people choice and control over the care and support provided by the state to enable Disabled people to have the same opportunities, choices and rights as non-Disabled people.

However, the original intention of PBs has been undermined by a lack of funding from central government and a lack of protections for social care and support budgets by local authorities.

  • Personal Budgets and social care and support packages are increasingly insufficient to meet need and there has been a rise in “clean and feed” models of care to the detriment of Disabled people’s domestic, social and leisure needs.
  • The duty for local authorities to promote well-being under the Care Act 2014 remains an aspiration rather than a reality in many local areas due to budgetary constraints. Likewise the right to independent living and full inclusion and participation in the community under Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is also being ignored.
  • ‘Control by the individual over day-to-day life’ under the Care Act’s well-being duty [2] is also not being implemented in many areas.
  • There is a lack of information and support for Personal Budget users receiving Direct Payments (DPs) so many Disabled people are being put at risk and left carrying unreasonable levels of responsibility.
  • The benefits of having a DP are becoming outweighed by the difficulties and burdens, such as keeping up-to-date with employment law.

Funding for adult social care and support has been cut by £4.6 billion over five years, since 2010. The additional funding and the measures announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget 2015 of an optional ‘social care precept’ and the retention business rates fail to provide a remedy to the crisis resulting in inadequate care for Disabled people and increased pressure on the NHS.

Recommendation

Funding for adult care and support is paid from general taxation and provided free at the point of delivery.

[1] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/section/26/enacted

[2] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/section/1/enacted

Inclusion London’s submission is available to download below.

Inclusion London evidence Financial Sustainability Adult Social Care inquiry