True cost of care shortfall ‘at least £3bn’

Professor Martin Green.Professor Martin Green.

A study by the Better Care Outcomes Ltd has found a £3bn shortfall in ‘true cost of care’ funding.

The paper by David Roe said that combined with an estimate of additional, unmet, eligible needs the shortfall rises to £3.7bn.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England (pictured), said: “Better Care Outcome’s Paper identifies that the current shortfall is very much understated; this will not be addressed by the £2 billion outlined in the Budget for social care.

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“Furthermore, as market sustainability risks vary considerably around the country, some areas are experiencing much higher closures and risks of further closures than others.”

The paper, True Cost of Care, Social Care Underfunding and Market Sustainability, identifies the need for further emergency funding for high risk areas. These are those where local authorities have only been able to pay the lowest fees, relative to the true cost of care and, in the care market for the support of older people, in the areas of generally lower average affluence, where there is a much lower proportion of older people paying for their own care at full rates, to support the continuing viability of care operators.

Martin added: “The report reflects exactly what our members are telling us namely the need for adequate funding in order to provide the care packages, training and sustainability of services.

“We want to work with the government on its forthcoming Green Paper and in the meantime ensure that allocated funding actually reaches the front line.

“At present the way the supplementary Budget is allocated, based on relative needs formula, this will not allocate any extra to areas of the greatest market sustainability risk. With inadequate funding overall, there are still likely to be care home closures in high risk areas and tax payers are not getting value for money.”

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