Responding to the Health Committee's latest report into social care, Councillor David Rogers, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said:
"This report highlights yet again the urgent need for the Government to come to grips with the rapidly growing demand for social care and the rising cost of delivering it. The system is already underfunded and problems are being compounded by severe cuts to council budgets.
"We endorse the report's strong advocacy for local solutions. There is a lot that can be achieved through the better integration of the NHS, social care and housing but there's no point driving that process from the centre. To deliver the best outcomes for the elderly and disabled, while also making savings for the public purse, reform has to be designed from the user upwards, with any model on integration led by the council working with the Clinical Commissioning Group. They are best placed to understand the needs of local people.
"The rapidly aging population and rising cost of social care makes funding the key challenge. Cutting red tape and integrating services, while necessary, are not going to be enough to keep pace with growing demand. Despite councils' best efforts to get the most out of every pound by reducing bureaucracy, linking services and better utilising the voluntary sector, there simply isn't the money to do everything they used to do. Structural reform will only take us so far and unless it is backed with the necessary funding the old, the frail and the infirm will not receive all the support they need and deserve."