North Yorkshire’s leading councillors and chief executive are calling on the Government and partners to adopt a 12-point plan for a more sustainable social care system.
The letter addresses a cross-party approach to bring about the comprehensive reform of social care, so people can plan for their future care needs with greater certainty.
The North Yorkshire County Council believes social care faces a bigger crisis because it is reliant on a ‘fragmented cocktail of funding.’
The proposal has been mailed to the Local Government Association and County Council Network in support of their social care proposals.
Councillor Harrison from North Yorkshire County Council said: “The challenges are very great, and we urgently need national reform. North Yorkshire continues to invest in front-live care services and has been making savings through innovation and reorganisation.
“In short, we have done so much to spend public money carefully and effectively.
“But social care faces an existential crisis as a result of a welcome increase in life expectancy both for older people and for younger adults with disability, as well as an increase in mental ill-health and the fact national funding and policy has not kept pace with these changes.”
Adult social care in North Yorkshire now accounts for 45% of everything the County Council spends.
The Council’s plan outline in the letter includes:
- For long-term and fairer funding, taking into account the higher costs of providing care in rural and coastal communities (delivering services to sparse populations is double that for councils with compact, urban populations);
- To extend National Insurance to people who work beyond retirement age with an additional premium for people aged 40 and over;
- For a system with a minimum and maximum for how much any individual has to pay towards care costs during their lifetime so families can plan with certainty;
- To focus on prevention for joint working between the NHS and local councils;
- For changes to housing policy so that more bungalows are built, and new homes meet ‘lifetime’ living requirements;
- For bursaries for nurses and other care staff to address national and local staffing shortages;
- For a radical rethink of policy to support carers; and
- For a post-Brexit immigration policy that assists with the vital skills needed for the future of social care.