Care England has said more social care funding is needed to help providers shoulder the cost of a higher National Living Wage (NLW).
England’s largest representative for independent providers of adult social care issued the call following last week’s announcement that the NLW would rise by 6.2% in April to £8.72.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Good and fair wages remain a lynchpin in the future sustainability of the adult social care sector. So too does the delivery of quality care to some of society’s most in need, but is in incumbent upon government to ensure that such increases in the National Living Wage are reflected in the fees paid to care providers who are supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people.”
Care England cites a recent report by the Low Pay Commission which states that government must take responsibility for the delivery of the increased wages in sectors, such as social care, where it is the main source of funding. The representative body added that the delivery of social care funding was radically different from other parts of the economy and must therefore be treated accordingly.
Martin added: “If government fails to support this uplift then services may close, jobs will be lost and support to people in need will be reduced at a time when more people need social care. The social care system has endured chronic underfunding for many years and we call upon the government to fund not only the increases in the Living Wage, but the sector’s long term sustainability.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told CHP: “We are providing councils with access to an additional £1.5bn for adults and children’s social care next year to help meet rising demand and cost pressures and stabilise the social care system.
“We are determined to find a long-term solution to the challenges in social care to ensure every person is treated with dignity and offered the security they deserve. We will seek to build cross-party consensus and will outline next steps shortly.”