The Government recognise the pressures faced by adult social services and have provided councils with an additional £10 billion in dedicated funding for adult social care in the three years leading up to 2019-20. Of course, the future level of funding will be settled in the spending review.
Councils are already struggling to meet the overwhelming demand and pressure to fund adult social care, to the extent that there will soon be little money left to pay for anything else. Demand is only going to increase and the need for reform is urgent, but after nine years of inertia can we ever expect this Government to get to grips with the growing crisis we face in adult social care?
It is absolutely the case that the Government are gripping the pressures in social care—not only with £1 billion in extra funding at the recent Budget but, as we have recently heard, with greater integration of care between the NHS and social care. This is delivering real benefits on the ground, with a reduction in half of the delayed transfers of care showing enormous promise for what is possible in the future.
I am not quite sure where the right hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson) was, but a number of Tory leadership contenders were queuing up on last night’s TV debate to pledge their loyalty to adult social care and their desire to see it properly funded. Now that there is a queue of Conservatives who are finally waking up to the adult social care crisis facing this country, what assessment does the Minister make of the amount of money needed to plug the gap?
We are doing that work with our colleagues in the Department of Health as we speak, to ensure an accurate reflection of the pressures as we go into the spending review. Those pressures are real; everyone acknowledges that there is an ageing demographic at the top end of social care, but working-age adults now account for half of the budget. It is right that we get the demographics right and that we go into the spending review with a robust case for the amount of funding that social care requires.
I call Clive Lewis. Not here—a second absentee. I hope these characters are not indisposed. We look forward to seeing them again erelong. The important point is that Yvonne Fovargue is here.