Funding for adult social care needs sorting out, and soon.

That is the verdict of current and former borough council cabinet members in response to a report on the long term future of adult social care, which currently accounts for well over 50 per cent of day-to-day spending in the authority's budget.

Produced by the association of adult social services directors from councils in the south west, the document said: “Social care requires a sustainable funding settlement that both deals with immediate pressures and provides a long-term settlement to allow local authorities and people plan for care.

“In the short-term social care is fully funded to meet its statutory duties, the additional demand for winter and Covid-19, both for the prevention of admission and discharges. including financial support for providers who meet local needs.”

It said seven-day social care social work and therapy provision needs to be funded “to help people regain their independence as quickly as possible. This also frees up capacity in home care and re-ablement.”

Director of adult services Sue Wald, who had to address the health and wellbeing board virtually because she was self-isolating, explained the overarching view is that it is better to help people live in their own home and as independently as possible.

The report added: “Models of care should promote independence, wellbeing and choice.

"Home is best is a central philosophy with assessments taking place in people’s homes and not in hospital. The learning from Covid-19 practice will be critical for ensuring patients are discharged to the place that meets their needs best and in 95 per cent of cases this should be home.”

Endorsing the report Conservative cabinet member for adults’ services, Brian Ford said: “It’s about time the Government gets on with sorting funding for social care out.

"I’ve held this portfolio for six years and every year is absolutely horrendous because nobody will grasp the nettle. It’s very frustrating.”

Council leader David Renard added: “In 2006 when I held that portfolio, I was talking to a Labour minister and he agreed it was beyond time to do something about it then, so we’ve been waiting a long time.”