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Spending Review response

26 June 2013

Carers UK has responded to the Government's Spending Review which has set out further cuts to public spending for 2015/16 and a new social care budget to be shared between the NHS and social care in England. 

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: "The Chancellor’s announcement of a social care fund, shared between the NHS and local councils, is an important recognition of both the funding crisis in care and the need for integration between NHS and social care.

Yet, whilst councils will have access to this new funding for care, there is the real risk that this may be undercut by wider local government cuts.

The Spending Review also indicates that planned new national eligibility criteria for social care will be a missed opportunity to reshape our social care system. If eligibility is set at the high bar of ‘substantial’, hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people and their carers will not qualify for essential support like help with washing, dressing and eating.

Many families will identify with the Chancellor’s words when he spoke of the ‘scandal’ of older people and the NHS paying the price of a failure to invest in social care. We strongly agree with the Government’s aspiration of changing this through integration of health and social care, investment in prevention services and investing in social care to make savings in the NHS.

However if this new funding proves insufficient or is used to plug gaps elsewhere, and eligibility thresholds ration access to social care to only those with the very highest needs – then these aspirations cannot be met and we will continue to see escalating knock-on costs to both families and to the NHS."

Carers UK has also set out a full analysis of what the Spending Review will mean for carers

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