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Responding to the Chancellor’s statement this afternoon on the outcome of the public spending review, Richmond Group Director Neil Tester said:

“While the funds announced in the spending review make a welcome short-term contribution to easing the most immediate pressures on social care, the next big announcement about this will have to be a comprehensive and sustainably-resourced plan to deliver the real support that people need from care services to maintain their independence. It’s good to see the Better Care Fund’s been retained and given a small increase to continue to join up services around people’s needs. But we can’t carry on lurching from financial year to financial year and the Richmond Group will continue to work hard with our partners for a long-term solution.

“Similarly the real terms increase in the Public Health Grant for councils marks an important moment after years of reductions but will have to be the start of a serious upward trend if the Chancellor’s to realise his stated ambition for a healthier Britain. As councils work through the implications of the other additional funding they’re being promised for 2020-21, I hope the right conversations will take place between local authorities, the NHS and the voluntary and community sectors so we can use the chance to rescue the local capacity needed for the NHS Long Term Plan’s social prescribing initiatives and activities to combat social isolation.

“The 15 million people with long-term conditions served by our member charities will also be keen to know the implications that the relative lack of detail on NHS workforce training resources could have on the Autumn’s NHS People Plan, so the Richmond Group will maintain a clear focus on these issues.”