Handouts '˜not a sustainable solution' to Sunderland winter pressures

Government cash boosts are not a '˜sustainable solution' to winter pressures in Sunderland, according to council bosses.
Sunderland Civic Centre.Sunderland Civic Centre.
Sunderland Civic Centre.

The Department of Health and Social Care has allocated more than £1.5million to the city to help it cope in the coming months.

But the handout has been criticised for failing to tackle the real funding problems facing councils.

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Coun Geoff Walker, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “The city council welcomes the recent announcement of additional funding of £1.5million.

“However, this falls short of addressing the inherent budget pressures being experienced in adult social care, both nationally and locally.

“The allocation of one-off monies by the Government to address what are ongoing cost pressures is not a sustainable solution in the longer term.

“Sunderland, along with other councils, is facing considerable cost pressures because of budget cuts and rising demand for all types of social care – it would urge the Government to address this.”

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The adult social care winter funding, which was announced at the beginning of October, is a pot of £240million intended to help local authorities in England through one of their most demanding periods of the year.

From this, £1,567,778 has been earmarked for Sunderland – the second biggest allocation of any of the other 12 North East local authorities.

According to the government, the cash is supposed to help pay for:

* home care packages to help patients get out of hospital quicker reablement packages to support workers helping patients with everyday tasks and mobility

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* home adaptations, such as adapting a shower room for a patient with limited movement


North East councils by adult social care winter funding allocation:

County Durham: £2,822,376

Sunderland: £1,567,778

Northumberland: £1,521,452

Newcastle: £1,500,831

Gateshead: £1,133,285

North Tyneside: £1,031,077

South Tyneside: £915,260

Stockton-on-Tees: £845, 239

Middlesbrough: £757,937

Redcar and Cleveland: £720,225

Darlington: £501,172

Hartlepool: £501,123


James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service