Cordis Pulse: April 2017
02 May 2017
We noted with interest The Health Foundation report which assessed the implications of the social care funding gap on health care reform. From our perspective, the additional £2bn of funding from central government for adult social care to bridge the gap between the back-loaded Better Care Fund and the expected growth in additional resources through the council tax precept is clearly welcome.
Allocation of the additional central government funds prioritises those authorities facing a particular challenge over Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC). This includes some of the largest authorities by population: around a third of the £2bn has been allocated to just 20 authorities, serving a combined population of around 17.7 million people.
This extra money from central government has probably bought some time whilst the government (and likely future government) brings forward its Green Paper on a more stable solution to the long-term funding of care. However, in the interim authorities will continue to face rising cost pressures in the form of National Living Wage uplifts and growing populations of older people and people with complex disabilities. The extra money will need to deliver on two fronts: (1) to pay the rising costs of existing service provision, and (2) to deliver additionality, so more services can be provided to more people. At this stage, it is unclear how much of latter will be delivered.
Concerning children’s services and criminal justice, two of our evaluation reports were published in March (see Cordis Bright News below). One for the Department for Education on the Family Learning Intervention Programme and the other for the Welsh Government on the Enhanced Case Management approach. In some ways the evaluations were very different: the former on implementing an innovative holistic approach to supporting families with children on the edge of care and the latter on applying a Trauma Recovery Model to young people with complex needs and prolific offending histories. In other ways, the projects were very similar, i.e. public sector partners seeking to build on evidence of what works to develop new, more impactful ways of supporting children and young people by addressing their underlying needs. Increasingly, this is a focus of a lot of our work in children’s services: helping public services design new approaches built on solid evidence of ‘what works’ and/or evaluating the impact of existing services so commissioners have reassurance about the level and nature of impact.