Cost of caring for Blackpool residents at home expected to increase

Demand for adult social care is expected to rise
Demand for adult social care is expected to rise
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Rising demand for care at home is set to increase pressure on town hall spending, Blackpool Council's director of adult services has warned.

Shorter hospital stays is the main reason for more people needing home care.

This year the council will spend £54.5m on adult social care plus £1.5m from the Better Care Fund.

Director Karen Smith told a meeting of the adult social care and health scrutiny committee, the department was currently keeping within its budget, but warned this would become more difficult as demand for services increased.

A report says reducing the length of time people are in hospital has contributed to the increase in demand, but the money freed up has been swallowed up by other NHS services instead of going to fund home care.

The report adds: "Unfortunately, the national policy intentions to transfer funds across the system from health to adult social care to compensate for this have not become a reality, as demand pressures within the health system are absorbing the resources freed up. "

Already this year the council has spent an additional £800,000 to fund an extra 1,000 hours a week of home care because of this.

Ms Smith said: "It is a credit to the department that we have consistently achieved a balanced budget over the last few years.

"However the situation going into our next budget round is that demand is increasing in most, if not all, areas."

She added: "We are finding the earliest signals of demand outstripping resources.

"We are currently financially stable but we have to look ahead to the forthcoming year with some concern.

"This is a national picture of growing demand not being met by resources available."

Talks are being held with other services including the NHS in order to use all funding streams in the most efficient way.

Additional investment has also been put into areas including supporting the Living Wage, additional social workers including in A & E, more home carers to meet emergency demand, and additional Vitaline units which respond to requests for help at the press of a button.