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Long-term funding solution for adult social care needed to provide dignity in later life

Adult social care supports our most vulnerable residents to continue living dignified, independent and meaningful lives.

It also plays a critical role in reducing demand on our already overstretched NHS services. Despite this, adult social care has long been the poor relation when it comes to government funding; with around 1.2m older people with care needs that go unmet.

The disregard for the role adult social care plays is clear; there is no national workforce strategy, no nationally funded investment in training and there is an egregious lack of urgency shown in publishing the vital green paper. This has now been delayed six times in just over two years, with no firm commitment for when it will be received.

The recent announcement of additional short term funding for adult social care is welcome. However, we desperately need to find a sustainable, long-term funding solution.

Short term funding does not address the long-term challenge of dignity in later life.

We don't yet know what the green paper is going to say, but we need not just funding, but also a radical strategy to make personal care free at the point of use for those who need it; in the same way that NHS services are. If not, then the inequality between health and social care will continue, and the most disadvantaged, and vulnerable adults in our community will suffer as a failure of political courage to act.

Written by Cllr Harbi Farah