Council leaders stressed the government's white paper on health and social care* was an opportunity for more integrated services within communities and closer co-operation between local authorities and NHS trusts.
'The well-being of our communities is best served through strong local partnerships that are based on the type of care people want (1). We hope the government has embraced this vision and wants to devolve power to our neighbourhoods.
'The white paper offers a genuine opportunity to move towards a more preventative system of care that provides better value for money. It is absolutely imperative, however, that any shifts from hospital to community based care are accompanied by an appropriate transfer of cash.
'This year's financial settlement has already placed enormous financial pressure on social services. In asking for sufficient funding, councils are not playing Oliver - they are simply saying the principles in the white paper should be finacially supported.'
(1) The LGA submission to the white paper - 'The future of health and adult social care: a partnership approach for well-being' - specifically called for stronger local partnerships between the adult social care and health sectors, based on the model of Local Area Agreements. Copies can be downloaded here.
(2) The LGA is a member of the Inter Agency Group (IAG), which was set up in January 2005 to bring together a range of lead agencies from the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors to lobby on joint priorities as the government agenda on adult social care developed. The IAG believes that the Government should provide sufficient resources to ensure that adult social care supports people to live independently and should provide appropriate and strategic support for care that takes place outside the hospital so that people can act as full citizens with choice over their everyday lives. The coalition currently includes: Association of Directors of Social Services, Age Concern England, Better Government for Older People, Carers UK, College of Occupational Therapists, Community Service Volunteers (CSV), English Community Care Association (ECCA), Hanover Housing, Help the Aged, IDeA, LGA, Mencap, Mental Health Foundation, NHS Confederation, the National Association of Adult Placement Schemes, LMCA, Rethink, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Scope and the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG).