Southampton City Council’s response to BBC Panorama ‘Crisis in Care’ mini-series
Southampton City Council recognises the issues and pressures raised within the BBC Panorama Crisis in Care mini-series broadcasted on 29 May and 5 June. We praise those who told their personal stories, BBC Panorama and Somerset Council for highlighting the challenging decisions that have to be made in a system where funding has fallen behind the growing demands and expectations of an ageing population in Britain today.
To help balance budgets for services provided by Southampton City Council, we undertook a public consultation on budget proposals between October 2018 and January 2019. This sought the views of residents, partners and businesses on a range of proposals. As part of these proposals, we consulted on challenging proposals to introduce a new Adult Social Care Charging Policy and the closure of care homes.
Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Adult Care at Southampton City Council, said “As a result of reductions in funding from central government, Southampton City Council has made £136.4 million savings over the last seven years and we need to make another £11.8 million savings by 2020/21. Income from Council Tax only covers 17% of our total council expenditure and the grant funding we receive from central government continues to reduce significantly.
“At the same time as we are having to make further savings, the costs of providing our services – particularly those for vulnerable adults – continues to increase year-on-year. By LGA estimates the national adult social care funding gap will be around £3.5billion by 2025. We’re left with really difficult decisions about how we spend our money and the services we provide, whilst ensuring the best for those vulnerable adults who need help. The families featured in the Panorama programmes could have been filmed anywhere in this country and the issues are relevant to every community in the country, including Southampton.”