County’s SOS call over joined-up care and £30m council tax ‘black hole’ – The Yorkshire Post says

THE continuing absence of a joined-up and fully funded care policy explains, in part, the £30m ‘black hole’ in North Yorkshire County Council’s finances – even if it increases council tax levies by the maximum amounts that are permitted by the London Government.

File photo dated 06/01/22 of an ambulance outside the Accident and Emergency Department. Patients are more likely to die if they endure long waits in A&E before being admitted to a hospital bed, according to new research.
File photo dated 06/01/22 of an ambulance outside the Accident and Emergency Department. Patients are more likely to die if they endure long waits in A&E before being admitted to a hospital bed, according to new research.

This is not a badly-run local authority. Its responsible management under Carl Les, a veteran Tory councillor, and chief executive Richard Flinton, is one reason why North Yorkshire will be taking over the remits of seven district councils next year.

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Social care is the biggest challenge facing local authorities like North Yorkshire County Council.

Yet the biggest burden on the council’s finances is social care – a point made very powerfully, and persuasively, by Michael Harrison, chair of the North Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board, in today’s edition as a dynamic new campaign is launched as part of a bid to recruit a new generation of carers to the sector.

He is pointed: “I urge the Government to provide more detail on its plans for achieving a fair price for care – and specifically the resource implications for local authorities - to ensure stability and investment in the care market. Put bluntly, we need a higher share of the Health and Social Care Levy, and not in three years’ time.”

And the issue extends beyond community care – the absence of sufficient provision is putting extra pressure on hospitals and, in turn, ambulance crews who are finding it increasingly difficult to drop off seriously ill patients because of the shortage of beds. The result is a self-perpetuating crisis that will only get worse until Ministers realise that a co-ordinated care policy is required in place of sticking plaster solutions.

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