Adult social care investment to improve outcomes for Wigan Borough residents
Additional investment of £10m will be made in adult social care as part of Wigan Council’s budget plans for the next 12 months.
The funds will help the local authority to continue to transform and improve the quality of care services in the borough, whilst easing financial pressures on the sector.
Wigan Council is one of few local authorities to have a balanced adult social care budget, its deputy leader highlighted at this month’s meeting of the full council.
Councillor Keith Cunliffe, who is also cabinet lead for adult social care, said this was despite cuts in the amount of funding the council receives from central government.
He said: “This has been achieved through taking a different approach to the way the council delivers services through The Deal for Adult Social Care and Health to improve outcomes and quality of life.
“The investment includes £4.6m of permanent funding that will ensure our valued frontline carers working across the borough receive an increase in their pay, whilst also helping to cover the cost of the increasing numbers of residents who rely on our services.”
Councillor Cunliffe told colleagues that the investment would be part funded by the three per cent adult social care precept but that it was not enough to cover the rising costs.
He added: “The precept – with our comparatively low tax base – will raise about £3.6m but has created a shortfall and places the burden on local council taxpayers.
“Throughout the country there’s been concern about the level of funding for adult social care and we continue to make the case for the sustainable funding of care long-term.”
In addition to permanent funding, Wigan Council plans include a further £5.4m of one-off investment that will help continue to improve the quality of the care market, develop new models of care and expand the reablement service.
Councillor Cunliffe added: “Many authorities have reduced the amount they spend on early intervention, prevention and reablement. In Wigan Borough we’re doing the opposite, despite the challenges of austerity.
“This approach will also allow us to create new job opportunities for local people looking for a new career in care, recently impacted by the wider economic consequences of the pandemic.”
Posted on Thursday 25th March 2021