Richmond Council is encouraging all residents and community groups to take part in a major national consultation by the Local Government Association into how to pay for adult social care and support for older people, working age adults with mental or physical disabilities and unpaid carers.

The LGA estimates that adult social care services face an annual funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.

Years of significant underfunding of councils, alongside rising demand and costs for care and support has pushed adult social care services to breaking point.

More and more people are unable to receive good, reliable care, such as help with getting washed and dressed, and funding is increasingly having to be diverted from other vital council services, such as parks, leisure centres and libraries, to plug growing adult social care funding gaps.

Richmond Council is holding an event on 13th September 2018 from 6pm in the Clarendon Hall, York House, Twickenham. Residents and local stakeholders are invited to come and discuss the crisis with the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Director of Social Services for Richmond Council, Liz Bruce.

Cllr Piers Allen, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said:

“Adult social care and looking after vulnerable people now accounts for 42 percent of the council’s overall budget. And, at the same time, our overall Government Grant has been axed.

“We estimate that we need an extra £1m each year to cover the funding gap.

“The Government is presiding over a crisis in social care, with funding going down while demand is going up.

“This latest example of Government inaction will make it even harder than it already is for us to plan our budgets. If they don’t take action now it will ultimately end up costing the NHS more and the people that will suffer will be the most vulnerable in our society.”

The LGA’s eight-week consultation is open to all members of the public - regardless of whether they are directly affected by or receive adult social care and support - and community groups. The findings will be used to help influence the Government’s own green paper and its spending plans.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Finding a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support has been kicked into the long grass by successive governments for the past two decades and has brought these services to breaking point.

“Our green paper is the start of a nationwide public debate about the future of care for all adults and we encourage as many people and organisations to have their say on how we pay for it and the responsibilities of national government, local councils, citizens, families and communities.”

The LGA’s green paper consultation is available here. The consultation closes on 26 September.

To attend the event, register online

— from a Richmond Council press release - 20 August 2018