On 16 February 2018 the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government wrote to all councils with social care responsibilities to require councils to show that the adult social care precept has been used on the budget for adult social care. For Devon, the 2% adult social care precept amounted to just over £7.2 million.
Of the £7.268 million raised from the 2% precept increase, £4.085 million has been used to meet the estimated cost of the National Living Wage increase in April 2018, with the remaining £3.183 million contributing towards funding other inflationary pressures directly impacting in the adult care markets. In addition, the Chancellor announced in the Budget on 8 March 2017 that there would be an additional £2 billion over the next three years for social care. Devon County Council received a non-recurrent Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF) grant of just over £15.1 million for 2017/18, and will receive £10.1 million in 2018/19, followed by £5 million in 2019/20.
There are conditions attached to the grants, to ensure that the money is spent on adult social care services and supports improved performance at the health and social care interface.
For 2018/19, the £10.148 million of new iBCF grant of temporary funding from government is included in the Adult Care and Health operations budget, and the deployment of this funding is subject to joint agreement with NHS partners. The government requires the additional improved BCF grant to be used for adult social care purposes; reducing pressures on the NHS, including supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready; and ensuring that the local social care provider market is supported.
The Authority proposes to take a zero-tolerance approach towards delayed transfers of care, with funding decisions made jointly with NHS partners, and informed by the following principles:
- Address local reasons for delayed transfers of care by improving flow and reducing demand.
- Manage demand through improved short-term services offer and developing individual and community resilience.
- To implement the Sustainability and Transformation Plan priorities of:
- single assessment process
- single point of access
- rapid response
- Solutions will be strategically designed and agreed in principle but locally delivered.
The Authority will allocate the funding as follows:
- Strategic county-wide investments – for areas where it makes sense to design change on a county-wide basis.
- Locality footprints (north, east, south and west localities) and specialist systems.
- Mental health.
The national multi-agency guidance High impact change model: Managing transfers of Care has a focus on getting people out of hospital, but we would also do this by reducing demand through prevention and increasing sufficiency and innovation in the personal care and care homes markets, as well as developing community resilience through the voluntary and community sector.