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BREAKING NEWS: Social care system on ‘verge of collapse’ says Commons’ report

Commons

A decade of funding cuts and uncertainty over the 2020/21 financial settlement has left the social care system on the verge of collapse, a Commons committee report has found.

The review of local government finance and 2019 spending review by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee published today reveals a £5bn funding gap for local authorities.

Chair of the HCLG Committee, Clive Betts MP, said: “The battle to meet ever increasing demand for social care has left few further sources of revenue to divert towards it and will now need a dedicated funding solution. The haphazard approach to broader funding has equally created an opaque source of revenue, partially funded by tax systems that don’t spread the burden equally.

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“The Government’s attention has been elsewhere for too long and it must now establish a system of funding that both addresses immediate need and supports local authorities in meeting challenges of the future.”

The report says rising demand for social care was placing an intolerable financial burden on local authorities, adding successive governments had failed to produce concrete measures to address the level of day to day demand or future need.

Nadra Ahmed, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, told CHP: “Here is more evidence, if it were needed, that social care remains firmly in the ‘too difficult to handle’ tray on Ministerial desks!

“Despite fleeting references and platitudes we have seen no tangible action or evidence that social care is any closure to tangible and sustainable solution in the minds of the PM or his team. Money is appearing from the magic well to alleviate pressures for many services but the one that sustains vulnerable citizens remains adrift.

“The prospects are not going to get better if that is the hope…we need sustainable funding which is ring fenced for social care as an immediate action and consideration given for exemption from VAT for providers. Who will be bold enough to take the steps before it’s too late?”

Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network, and leader of Kent County Council, who gave evidence at the committee in June, said it was “paramount” for the Government to provide short term resources targeted at areas most in need in September’s one-year Spending Review.

Cllr Carter also called for a long term settlement and reforms to adult social care in early 2020.

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The author Lee Peart

1 Comment

  1. This is what I have been saying for some time and why I created the Petition – Pay all employed carers the Living Wage, which closed after 6 months with only 1037 signatures.

    I now have the petition Solve the crisis in Social Care, which is addressed to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock Minister of State for Health & Social Care.

    Please see

    Dear Friends,

    I just added the petition “Solve the crisis in Social Care”.

    It would mean a lot to me if you took a moment to add your name because:
    Just in Adult Social Care demand has increased by 1.6% since 2015-16, The Health Foundation report, 23 October 2018, https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/news/demand-for-adult-social-care-services-has-increased-by-16-since-2015-16.

    This is not taking into account the demand for Children’s Social Care and the increase in demand since 2018, but as stated in the report, ‘At the same time, growth in government spending has only seen a 0.4% increase in real terms and the 10,670 fewer people received long term social care support’, effectively a substantial decrease in funding. This will and is having an impact on health care services and adds to the health funding crisis.

    Until all social care is sufficiently funded for children and adults, be they elderly, disabled, or in poor health, health services will be substantially affected, and health funding will need to be increased to compensate, to some degree, for the substantial underfunding of social care.

    It is not only causing distress and concern for persons in need of care, but also affecting their families, whose own health will be deteriorating due to the lack of Social Care and who in time will also need social and health care

    I am a Family Carer and can see this happening for a considerable number of years for my own adult disabled daughter and how it has affected my own health and that of my wife.

    But funding is but one element of the Social Care Crisis, as good quality care is also a casualty, not only due to the increasing demand for social care, but the substantial lack of persons wishing to enter the caring profession.

    Here the lack of a wage/salary which matches the responsibilities, which need to be undertaken, the length of shifts, the number of unsocial hours, the care required in relation to the degree of disability and need and others.

    Austerity cuts to local authorities are partly to blame for some areas of this crisis, which has impacted on the funding available for social care, where the need is increasing, the lack of workers in social care and the increases to the National Living Wage.

    These problems relate to the whole area of care, be it in relation to Care and Nursing Homes, Supported Living, or Home Care.

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

    Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in. Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue.
    After you’ve signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. It’s super easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter:

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

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