Headlines: June 10th, 2010

Councils and the Government are being challenged to use funding for social care more smartly so they deliver better services for the country’s aging population. Counsel and Care believes this approach could release up to three billion pounds to be redirected towards better care for older people and support for those looking after them.

Looking ahead to the emergency budget on June 22nd and the setting of parameters for the 2011-15 spending review, the organisation said smarter spending was needed urgently to make the best use of existing resource. It has published 10 ways in which those resources could be used differently. Its chief executive, Stephen Burke, said the Government was setting up a commission but the country could not wait five years for radical reform of the crumbling care system.

The ten changes include improving access to advice and information, improving support for families and carers, and encouraging closer links between housing, health and care agencies. The charity’s report also calls for the use of homecheck schemes, volunteering, technology such as telecare and access to treatments to reduce the impact of dementia.

It recognises that with councils facing growing demands and financial pressures there is a need to deliver more for less but it estimates that the measures in the report could release up to three billion pounds of savings. “We know a lot about what works and what could generate savings. We need leadership to make this happen. If social care can deliver better value and better care, then older people can get the help and support they need,” Mr. Burke said.