Cost of supporting Sheffield people who have been released from hospital placing 'significant' strain on council's budget

Supporting people who have been released from hospital is putting significant pressure on Sheffield Council’s budget.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 11:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 5:12 pm

Council officers say the scale of the financial challenge facing adult social care ‘remains significant’.

There are two main pressures - rising costs and staff wages as well as providing care in the community.

In the council’s draft budget, officers say: “In Sheffield, there is an increasing demand for care and support services - increasing numbers of people are requiring higher levels of support in the community for longer.

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“A significant element of these demand pressures is associated with supporting increasing numbers of people out of hospital to care in or nearer the home.”

The Government has partially recognised this and has given the council some extra, one-off funding.

But the council says unless this funding is made permanent, there’s a real possibility of significant budget pressures beyond 2020.

Officers add: “The scale of the financial challenge facing adult social care remains significant.

“Our plan is updated annually and sets out how we will seek to meet the financial challenges ahead whilst ensuring people can stay healthy, stay out of hospital and live independently at home for as long as possible.

“Adult social care supports thousands of people every year in Sheffield, and our vision is to keep people healthy, safe and well, and to support them to live the lives they want to live.”

Healthwatch Sheffield, the watchdog for NHS and care services, says being able to get support is vital.

Chief officer Lucy Davies said: “When we did our Homecare Report in January 2019, people described how important good support was to help them live their life when they needed assistance with everyday tasks.

“Yet we know the system is under huge strain - we regularly hear from people who are not offered the care they feel they need, or who now get less support then they used to, despite this continued investment by Sheffield Council.”

The Local Government Association estimates there will be a national social care funding shortfall of £3.5bn by 2025 just to maintain existing standards of care.