GOVERNMENT BOOST TO HEALTH BUDGET TO BE RINGFENCED BUT CARE BUDGET STILL LEFT TO THE MERCY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIESTuesday 24 January 2012
Dr Ros Altmann, Director General, Saga said: “Today’s announcement from the Health Sectary regarding ring fencing a £5.2 billion public health budget and responsibility of its allocation to be owned by local authorities, only highlights the significant lack of attention being paid to care, where the money will not be ring fenced and we cannot be certain of its appropriate distribution.
GOVERNMENT BOOST TO HEALTH BUDGET TO BE RINGFENCED BUT CARE BUDGET STILL LEFT TO THE MERCY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Over the past year or so, the Government has said it will allot £2 billion to care, recognising the current system is inadequate and underfunded. This important money allocated for care must be protected against being raided to shore up day to day spending, it was previously implied that this is an impossibility but with the public health budget being guarded, why should care funding be overlooked?
Responsibility for distributing the public health budget will now taken on by local government. On this basis, Saga is calling, that all money that is being earmarked by the Government for care, should also be ring fenced to ensure tax payer’s money is being spent exactly where it has been intended which would be preferable to leaving it to individual cash strapped councils to decide whether or not they will increase their spend on care.
“Policy makers need to stop denying the care crisis and confront the reality. We need to ensure protection of the money assigned to care and appropriate distribution of it. If we can plan this for other areas of health, why not care?”
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