Chance to tackle crisis plaguing social care must not be missed, warns VODG

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A non-for-profit organisation that provides support for people living with disabilities has claimed that the Government has failed to adequately finance the care sector, ahead of Parliament debate on adult social care.

Ahead of the opposition debate on adult social care in the House of Commons, which is taking place today, the national body representing leading not-for-profit disability support, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), warns that government has yet to deliver a firm strategy for social care.

VODG has also voiced concerns over how successive governments have failed to adequately fund the sector.

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A recent VODG report described how millions of people may lose support. ‘True Costs: Why we cannot ignore the failure in social care funding’ outlined challenges faced by voluntary sector providers of adult social care, including increased demand for services, rising costs of providing services and workforce recruitment and retention problems.

VODG chief executive, Dr Rhidian Hughes, said: “We’re on the cusp of what feels like a perfect storm for adult social care and VODG is frustrated at the absence of a permanent solution to guarantee our sector’s future.

“Social care is struggling with year-on-year reductions in funding alongside other worrying developments such as the impact of Brexit and the threat of a huge back-pay bill for organisations providing vital sleep-support.”

Meanwhile, adult social care savings have totalled £6.3bn since 2010, according to the Association of Directions of Adult Social Services, and additional funding, such as the Improved Better Care Fund and the Adult Social Care Precept are reported to be ‘inadequate’.

VODG added that pressures include the introduction of the National Living Wage and Brexit, which has the potential to create much instability due to 90,000 (7%) of adult social care jobs in England being currently filled by EU workers.

In addition, the retrospective requirement to provide national minimum/living wage back-pay to sleep-in shift workers for up to six years would ruin many providers, says VODG, despite the government extending the suspension of minimum wage enforcement in the social care sector.

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