Government does not accept committee’s recommendations on adult social care
Family Justice Reformed (second edition: June 2017) contains detailed commentary on the Single Family Court and the Children and Families Act 2014, Pts 1 and 2 (which deal with family justice), including clear and comprehensive guidance on the underlying procedural regime and the rationale for the reforms.
The Committee’s original report found inadequate funding was seriously affecting the quantity and quality of the adult social care provision, impacting on those receiving care, the NHS, care staff, carers and providers.
The report recommended:
all councils consider how to identify unmet social care need and to put arrangements in place;
Government provide extra funding to increase social care provision in order to relieve pressure on the NHS;
Government resolve the uncertainty over paying for sleep in shifts;
councils annually audit the services they commission to ensure people are receiving the care they need;
the status of care work be improved through better pay, terms and conditions; and
the Care Quality Commission (CQC) oversee the market shaping, commissioning and procurement activities of social care by councils.
The Government did not accept any of the committee’s recommendations outright.
The report suggested that a standard process for assessing the costs of care, which takes into account local variations in wage rates, and setting fair prices that reflect costs, would help guide local authorities.
However, the Government argues that commissioning social care is a matter for local authorities who are best placed to understand the needs of local people and communities, and how best to meet them.
It also disagreed that the CQC’s remit be extended to include oversight of social care commissioning by councils or that councils be required to undertake annual auditing of the services they commission. It says the Department of Health (DoH) provides guidance to support local authorities understand the costs of care when agreeing fee rates with providers.
The Government added that the DoH has no plans to extend the remit of the CQC to include oversight of how local authorities agree prices with providers.
Finally, it disagreed with the recommendation that it should commission a wide-scale evaluation on the outcomes and cost effectiveness of the ‘Shared Lives’ scheme.
It believes there is already data available on the impact of the scheme, with 91% of 98 Shared Lives Plus services rated as good or outstanding by the CQC.