Reaction to budget
Ross Macmillan, head of research and intelligence at allpay Limited, the UK’s leading payment specialist comments on social care in the Spring Budget:
“Today the Chancellor announced a bold plan to spend £2billion on social care over the next three years, as part of his ‘social care funding package’. While the extra funding is welcomed, the Chancellor added that longer term funding will be considered in an upcoming green paper. As part of this, innovative technological solutions that save on labour, time and operational costs should be considered as going a long way towards alleviating the pressures of a sector under strain. We believe that a collaboration between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to streamline administrative processes will further help to maximise budgets and improve service delivery for end users. At a time of reduced expenditure, automating auditing via electronic payments, not only helps to reduce processing costs within Council and Clinical Commissioning Groups, but can ensure funds allocated are spent in-line with care plans.
More than a quarter of local authorities are now disbursing adult social care funds using prepaid cards, with an estimated £500 million expected to be loaded onto cards this year alone. An average sized council using prepaid cards is reporting savings of 5% to 10% on their direct payments budget, meaning the return on investment is very high. Service users also benefit as these payments are made instantly, with no need to open a bank account or submit bank statements to the council or send in expenditure receipts. We are seeing more councils working together with their CCGs to better manage and co-ordinate social care and health budgets. We await with anticipation the promised green paper, due later this year too.”