I am writing to highlight the £20.4 million uplift in Carers Act implementation funding included in the local government settlement as part of the Scottish Budget 2022-23 (noted in Local government finance circular 9/2021).
As per the Cabinet Secretary for Finance’s letter to COSLA and Council leaders of 9 December and the Director of Health Finance and Governance’s letter to NHS Boards and Integration Authorities of the same date, this Carers Act funding is part of wider significant uplifts for social care. The funding allocated to Integration Authorities should be additional and not substitutional to each Council’s 2021-22 recurring budgets for social care services and therefore Local Authority social care budgets for allocation to Integration Authorities must be at least £554 million greater than 2021-22 recurring budgets.
The Carers Act funding uplift comes on top of successive, baselined increases in every year since the Act came into force in April 2018. The cumulative total is £68 million for 2021-22. The Act aimed to deliver a significant expansion in local carer support so that funding for carers services and support in 2022-23 will be £88.4 million more than it was in 2017-18.
I know you are aware of the immense contribution unpaid carers make to the sustainability of the health and social care system as well as to the individual wellbeing of the people they care for, and I am hugely grateful for the work they carry out.
Effective support for carers is not a new issue but the consistent feedback from carer representatives is of sustained pressures on carers; huge demand for carer support; and local carer support organisations running beyond capacity. This makes it even more important that the substantial Carers Act funding uplift for 2022-23 goes to delivering the intended expansion in local carer support services.
I therefore ask for your support in ensuring these additional resources are allocated in full to expanding support for unpaid carers.
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