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Budget 2018: Social care funding gets £650m boost

Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed that more money will be poured into the NHS, social care and mental health in today’s Autumn Budget.

A further £650m has been given over to social care funding for next year.

Another £45m will go into specific disability provisions funding, and £84m has been assigned to children’s social care programmes over the next five years.

Social care programmes for children will also be launched at a further 20 councils across the country.

Hammond says: “Today we are building on the additional £240m for social care winter pressures announced earlier this month and I will make available a further £650m.

“This is for now, while longer term spending will be amended in the government’s spending report next year.”

The Chancellor also confirmed the government’s planned changes to mental health offerings, including the launch of a 24-hour crisis hotline.

All emergency departments will also have funded crisis teams under new government measures, while specialist ambulance services for mental health sufferers will also be launched.

Hammond says: “This is a step in ending the mental health stigmas that leave too many people suffering in silence and this is an extraordinary commitment to the NHS.”

The confirmation of the additional funds comes after a recent Quilter Cheviot survey which found an alarming gap between the cost of social care and public expectation of costs.

A total 27 per cent of people believe the average monthly cost of social care is between £1,000 and £2,000 where Which? research shows a room in a nursing home costs between £2,400 and £3,200 a month.

Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron says: “The commitment to provide an additional £650m of funding for social care will offer some relief to councils struggling with ever increasing demands. However, this is little more than a temporary, sticking plaster measure and we urgently need concrete, long-term proposals in the promised Green Paper on how to tackle the huge issue of funding social care costs.

“Our ageing population urgently needs a stable agreement on what the state will pay and how much individuals will have to fund themselves, based on their wealth, and crucially with an overall upper limit.”

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