Portsmouth and Hampshire councils increase spend on adult social care by millions

Portsmouth Civic Offices
Portsmouth Civic Offices
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FIGURES show councils have spent millions more on adult social care – branded ‘one of the biggest challenges’ facing authorities.

Data from NHS Digital showed local authorities saw an increase in the number of people being referred to them in need of care packages.

The publication of figures comes just days after the government announced councils would get funding to help them pay for adult social care over winter.

According to the figures, Portsmouth City Council spent £62m gross current expenditure in 2017/18 compared to £58m the previous year.

Residents needing care aged over 65 cost £45m, while the costs for adults aged between 18 and 64 cost £3.8m. The remaining money went on other costs.

The number of new adults the council had to care for also rose. That went from 4,965 in 2016/17 to 6,360 the following year.

Hampshire County Council also saw similar increases.

Hampshire social care bosses spent £402m in total, of which £308m was for over-65s and £13m for adults between 18 and 64.

The total was a rise from £401m the previous year.

People in need of care also rose in the county from 63,615 in 2016/17 to 68,920 in 2017/18.

Nationally, local authorities received 1.8m new requests for adult social care support in 2017/18, an increase of 1.6 per cent on 2016-17 and equivalent to 5,100 new requests per day.

Last week Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health and social care, announced the extra funding for councils in England to help them cope with winter pressures.

It is hoped the additional money will also help reduce delayed transfers of care in hospitals and provide more care packages within people’s homes. 

Hampshire County Council got £4.7m while Portsmouth City Council got £890,417.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, the county council’s executive member for adult social care and health, said: ‘The rising demand for adult social care support presents one of the biggest challenges facing local government in England.

‘In Hampshire alone we provide long-term support to more than 20,000 people, which includes supporting the elderly and very frail, as well as a growing number of adults with physical and learning disabilities, and those living with poor mental health.

‘Any additional funding from central Government is to be welcomed, but the recently announced funding is one-off and does not negate the need for longer-term solutions for sustainable and fair social care services to be found nationally.’