Jim Cunningham (Coventry South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the effect of changes to local government budgets on the cost of placing each patient into care provided by an independent care provider.
Paul Burstow (Minister of State (Care Services), Health; Sutton and Cheam, Liberal Democrat)
Commissioning of adult social care services is devolved to local authorities, and it is for each local authority to negotiate and agree the fees paid to individual providers, reflecting local circumstances. In setting these fee levels, local authorities should have due regard to the actual costs of providing care.
The Department does not set or recommend rates at which local authorities contract with providers of care, and has therefore made no assessment of the cost of placing individual care users with independent providers.
In the most recent spending review, the Government recognised the pressures on the adult social care system within a challenging settlement for local government, and took the decision to prioritise adult social care by allocating an additional £7.2 billion to the system over the four years to 2014-15 to support local authorities in delivering social care. When combined with a rigorous local authority focus on efficiency, this additional £7.2 billion means that there is funding available to protect people's access to care and deliver new approaches to improve quality and outcomes.