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Exclusive: Hopes rise of social care cash injection

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There is a growing expectation among senior local government figures that extra funding for social care will be announced soon – possibly at the Conservative party conference next week.

LGC understands talks between sector representatives, the Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government over funding options ahead of a seasonal rise in demand this winter are at an advanced stage.

Discussions are said to be focused on the levels of funding required for a one-off cash injection to bolster services, what conditions will apply to the money and how it will be distributed.

One senior source indicated an announcement on additional funds is expected within the next week. This could mean an announcement will be made at the Conservative party conference, which begins on Sunday.

There are concerns that the social care system is yet to fully recover from the rise in demand on the during the summer heatwave, which resulted in a significant increase in delayed transfers of care from hospital.

The Department of Health & Social care earlier this month announced NHS acute trusts will receive £145m to prepare for increased winter pressures.

Half of the £2bn extra funding for social care announced last year was allocated in 2017-18, with a requirement that it was spent on relieving pressure on hospitals. Councils were also given the flexibility to raise council tax through a social care precept by 6% in the three years up to 2019-20.

The government has promised to publish a green paper on the long-term sustainability of the adult social care system this autumn.

The Local Government Association, which recently published its own proposals for reform, has warned that social care is at breaking point and requires immediate funding.

The Treasury, the Department of Health & Social Care and the MHCLG have been approached for comment.

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