Ageing UK population drove decision to direct more funds to adult care, says Northamptonshire County Council finance member

Councillor Robin Brown looks on as Councillor Heather Smith discusses the 2018-19 draft budget proposals. (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Councillor Robin Brown looks on as Councillor Heather Smith discusses the 2018-19 draft budget proposals. (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Northamptonshire County Council insists an increased demand for NHS services amid the UK's ageing population has added extra pressure on adult social care services in the county.

This, according to cabinet member for finance Councillor Robin Brown, has driven the decision to direct an extra £24.6m on adult social care as proposed in the 2018-19 draft budget released yesterday.

Bed-blocking and home care for the elderly were also cited as reasons to allocate the additional funds.

Councillor Brown said: "The issue about the demands for services, particularly those to do with the elderly, is driven by the hospitals.

“So as more and more people are using the hospitals and are seeking treatment or having treatment - 25 years ago they didn't get to the age they are now.

"Whereas people lived probably into their late 70s, they’re now living into their 80s and 90s, and the issue about this last 10 years of their life is that more and more medical assistance is required.

"As that medical assistance is costing us money through the NHS what people fail to realise is that alongside it you have adult social care

Councillor Brown explained the pressure on the council has come from the fact adult social care comprises treatment the elderly receive at home, care packages provided to people with disabilities, care packages for people who can no longer live in their own homes but are in residential care, dementia care as well as nursing care.

The council does receive money for adult social care from the Better Care Fund, which is aimed at reducing DTOCs (delayed transfer of care) - or in other words bed-blocking.

"The way that our funding has been given to us, we are being given extra money from the Better Care Fund," said Councillor Brown.

"The difficulty is irrespective of whose fault it might be, that individual shouldn't be taking up a bed in a hospital but should be somewhere else."