COUNTY bosses are calling on the Government to find a funding solution to tackle mounting social care pressures. 

Civic leaders at Hampshire County Council have urged the Government to develop a long-term funding strategy in a bid to tackle the increasing demand in social care which is claimed to be “significantly outstripping” the council’s financial forecasts.

It comes as earlier this year the authority revealed that a number of services provided by the council’s adult social care and health department could be hit by further cuts and 120 jobs could be lost in a move that would save £43.1m.

As previously reported, the council said the saving target “will challenge the department like never before, and it is inevitable that there will be impacts on front-line services”.

Now cabinet members at the county council have urged the Government to step in.

It comes as the authority is trying to save a total of £80m by 2021.

Council leader Keith Mans said: “If we are to remain financially sustainable beyond 2021/22 and maintain high performing services which protect the most vulnerable, there needs to be a significant change in the way growth in adults’ and children’s social care is funded. It’s simply not possible to sustain that growth in demand and cost indefinitely.”

He said the authority has repeatedly asked the Government to look at social care funding together with a “fairer overall funding deal” for shire councils such as Hampshire.

But he added: “The prolonged cost pressures we face, particularly in adults’ and children’s social care services are significantly outstripping our financial forecasts. Over the next five years, we anticipate that there will be an extra 2,000 people, each year, reaching the age of 85 and over – with greater and more complex care needs. Similarly, in children’s social care, budgets cannot keep up with rising demand for child protection services, coupled with the increasing costs.”

He said the council will be making further representations to feed into Government’s three-year Spending Review next year.

Cllr Mans said the council welcomed the fact that the expected reductions in Government funding haven’t arisen for next year and said that without the extra injection of funding announced by Government in its September Spending Review, Hampshire would have faced a shortfall well in excess of £100 million by 2021/22.

However, the additional money has brought the council back to a broadly neutral position and that is just for one year, Cllr Mans added. 

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has approached the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.