Growing Places: healthy and independent lives

Good local services are essential for mental and physical health and wellbeing. To support councils in delivering these, the Government must reverse the £20 million cut to public health grant, invest in prevention and plug the £2.3 billion funding gap for adult social care.

We're calling on the Government to:

  • properly value the benefits of population-level public health expenditure, which tend to be long term, and reverse the £200 million cut to the public health grant and cancel further planned reductions
  • invest properly in prevention and early intervention: a Prevention Transformation Fund worth at least £2 billion annually would enable some double running of new investment in preventative services alongside ‘business as usual’ in the current system, until savings can be realised and reinvested into the system as part of wider local prevention strategies.
  • Close the projected funding gap facing adult social care by 2020.
  • Address the immediate pressures, in particular the pressures on care providers, and put in place measures to stabilise the market. To help toward this the funding announced in the Spring Budget should be put into councils’ baselines so it can be counted on in all future years.
  • Build in funding which manages demographic and inflationary pressures in the long term, for all ages not just older people.
  • Recognise the value of social care as an essential service to support people of all ages, not just as a factor affecting the NHS.
  • Ensure local government plays a leading role in the design of the Green Paper; councils have essential experience of the issues facing adult social care at all levels of the service. We are committed to working with the Government to consider bold measures to share the risk of social care costs equitably between the state and the citizen.
  • Achieve cross party support. Broadly similar proposals have been put forward by various commissions, inquiries and reviews into social care over the last decade or so. These previous solutions have ultimately fallen short because of an absence of political consensus. Local government has a key role to play in informing a workable, long term sustainable solution with cross-party consensus.
  • ensuring our care and health system works for individuals by focusing on their needs, and not the needs of particular organisations or sectors
  • ensuring that all commissioning of health and social care services is locally accountable through HWBs, which could be reconfigured with local agreement to match the footprints of combined authorities or other more strategic bodies where appropriate
  • aligning STPs with HWBs and giving HWBs a legal duty to sign off commissioning plans, including plans for integration
  • enabling all areas to move beyond the BCF and transfer money directly to councils to support adult social care and integration, overseen by HWBs
  • a single outcomes framework for the heath and care system and a system of performance management that is light touch and locally driven, in recognition that local leaders are better placed than national bodies to identify and address unjustifiable variation in safety, quality and outcomes.

Download the full publication Growing places: building local public services for the future to learn more.