Back in the winter, the government allowed local authorities to raise an extra £2 billion to help relieve some of the pressure on the adult care sector.
Part of the idea was to allow more resource to be put into helping people to be cared for at home and elsewhere – thus releasing some badly needed hospital bed space. There is a strong view that this has not actually happened and that the funding has largely just been used to plug the massive black hole in NHS funding needs with already committed expenditure.
The major impasse still seems to be that there are two separate commissioning budgets. Local social services have a finite budget for placements at home or in care homes, leaving many people in hospital being funded directly from the NHS pot costing up to £2,500 per week. With the two separate funding streams, discharges get delayed in hospitals whilst the commissioning battles are played out.
The arena is further fogged by a lack of public knowledge as to what their rights are and who should be doing what. People do not know what care costs they are entitled to, nor that they are entitled to a needs assessment followed by a financial assessment with Social services and a decision support tool process with the NHS.
There is much anticipation that a Green paper due in the autumn will overcome the impasse of the two separate finance streams – though this is by no means certain as authorities naturally seek to protect their own quarters. There is also currently no guarantee that the necessary funding to help make any changes work will be made available.
In the meantime, we are left with an extremely expensive and inefficient system. At Albert Goodman, we work with many businesses providing care services either at home or in care homes. In the current financial climate the economics are increasingly tight and we do our best to help them plan to achieve economic viability. We will carry on doing our best to help with sensible business planning. We keep very close to the latest finance developments in the sector, but there does need to be a major step forward before patients, businesses and medical services can plan ahead with any confidence at all.
For further information on how we at Albert Goodman can help please contact our care business specialist Julie Hopkins on 01935 423667 or email Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org.