In response to the Budget, Greg Allen, Chief Executive of Future Care Capital, said:
This was always going to be the Brexit budget: and, it seems, ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. The budget red book reveals as feared, that the only certainty is continued uncertainty as the £20 billion promised to NHS England hinges upon the publication of the NHS England 10 year forward plan and how the government will fund any additional health spend. At the same time, social care commissioners were offered a short-term cash boost worth £650 million – but the extent to which rural county councils already working against the odds to provide services to their fast ageing populations will see that off-set by business rate cuts to smaller enterprises in market towns remains to be seen. Once again, we must await the social care Green Paper, local government settlement and Fair Funding Review to ascertain the ‘winners and losers’ this Winter – and beyond. Our recent report calls on the Government to break away from the outdated adult social care model and act to address local challenges. Policymakers at all levels need to focus more resources on long-term planning so that we anticipate demographic challenges earlier and ensure our local communities are better able to respond to the needs of all generations. Admittedly, the Chancellor always had a juggling act in managing public expectations, the politics and budgetary realities. Funding alone is not the answer. There needs to be a more positive vision and targeted effort, enabling culture change which embeds an understanding across society that care is a responsibility we all share. One potential way to realise this ambition is to establish a Care Covenant – or renewed settlement around mutual expectations – involving everyone in our society as a mechanism for change. Expectations for the forthcoming adult social care Green Paper are now even higher.