NEWS

Wiltshire council chief urges ministers to clarify social care green paper

Wiltshire Council’s health chief has joined care leaders to press government ministers to publish their plans on adult social care.

Minister pledged a 3.2% increase to the NHS funding/budget year-on-year announced in the recently published 10 year long-term plan.

But the sustainability of the NHS finances has been questioned by the National Audit Office, the government’s finance watchdog.

The National Audit Office said extra funding may have to be funnelled into paying for expensive agency staff and that without a long-term funding settlement for council-led social care, it could be hard for the health service to be sustainable in the long term.

Coun Jerry Wickham, the Wiltshire Council lead on adult social care, said: “Everyone welcomed the fact the NHS is getting money. It’s absolutely right it does.

“But that’s only one dimension of the whole system.”

Coun Wickham has called on the Government to publish the social care green paper, setting out reform plans.

The paper is already a year behind its original release date and reports suggest it is unlikely councils will received significant amounts of more money.

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Tamara Birch