The cross-party group London Councils has responded to the unveiling of 'People at the Heart of Care', the government’s white paper on adult social care reform.
Cllr Danny Thorpe, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health & Care, said:
“The white paper sets out a positive vision but considering the unprecedented challenges facing social care we need more than warm words and nice ideas.
“Disappointingly, our key concerns around funding shortfalls remain unaddressed. Although the announcements over housing adaptations, greater use of technology, and emphasis on workforce training are all welcome, boroughs and care providers are still left facing enormous and unsustainable resource pressures.
“Our adult social care services support around 150,000 older and disabled Londoners and these numbers are rising fast, with demand levels outstripping government investment in the sector.
“No one could argue with the white paper’s priorities of giving everybody choice and support for living independent lives, but there’s still a long way to go on reforming social care and securing the future of these vital services.
“We need both long-term assurances on funding and immediate action on making sure frontline services have the resources they require to get through the coming winter pressures. Lives depend on this.”
Adult social care teams support 150,000 Londoners across a mixture of care settings, with 238,000 employed in the sector. Demand for adult social care is increasing rapidly in the capital as London’s population is growing particularly among groups likely to require social care.
Even though Londoners are on average younger than the rest of the country, the number aged 65 and older is expected to increase by 71% by 2039 – a faster rate than any other region in England. London also has a higher proportion of people of working age needing social care provision. For example, the number of working-age Londoners with a learning disability is expected to increase by 7.8% by 2035 and with impaired mobility by 14%.