Social Care and Welfare Reform Panel update

01-12-2016

By Paul Carey-Kent, Policy Manager, CIPFA

The first meeting of the Social Care and Welfare Reform Panel under the new arrangements took place on 24 November and will report through to the Health and Integration Board meeting on 12 December. The Panel:

  • amended its terms of reference in light of the new arrangements
  • discussed the Autumn Statement and endorsed the thrust of CIPFA’s response, which emphasised its failure to deal with the financial problems faced by social care
  • raised concerns about the effects on housing as the universal credit regime is rolled out fully over the next few years
  • concurred with the conclusion of the CIPFA Briefing Sorting the Plans – those involved in sustainability and transformation plans from a local authority perspective mentioned concerns that the priority was often to get to the numbers required to ‘feed the NHE beast' rather than to assess as rigorously as possible the savings achievable through specified measures, and that the emphasis was too often on politically difficult changes (such as hospital reconfiguration), which has lower savings potential than more radical approaches which seek to change the models of care
  • flagged some concern regarding the validity of NHS Digital’s 2015/16 data on social care spending
  • noted that the 2016 Health and Social Care Conference had been well attended and received, suggesting that a similar format would be appropriate next year
  • discussed how best to take forward the expansion of current business to improve coverage of children’s social care.