Care UK Chair Mike Parish likened the social care sector to the “slowest car crash in history” during a major conference yesterday.
Mike was speaking with Renaissance Care Executive Chairman Robert Kilgour during a discussion hosted by TV presenter and journalist Fiona Phillips at the Future of Care conference.
“The crisis is coming, it just keeps deferred,” Mike warned.
Both leaders highlighted staffing, funding and regulation as the main challenges facing the sector.
Mike said Care UK’s success had been built on its gradual migration over the last 10 years to the self-funding market along with long-term, “properly structured” local authority contracts.
The Care UK leader said the local authority end of the market faced a capacity crisis as beds closed and new development focused on self-funders.
He highlighted how local authority fee paying residents were taking up hospital beds due to the lack of local authority places.
In Scotland, meanwhile, Robert accused local authorities of the “mis-use of public money” by spending vast sums on building their own care homes.
The care home leaders said providers were unable to pay carers higher salaries due to a lack of Government funding.
Both agreed the Government’s new immigration proposals that entail cutting the migrant salary threshold to £25,600 increase recruitment strains on the sector.
“We are okay for nurses but carers are a big problem for us,” Robert noted.
On regulation, Robert said the Care Inspectorate in Scotland took a far more co-operative approach than the CQC.
In contrast, Mike said was a “supporter” of the CQC, arguing it had “contributed significantly” to the raising of care standards in England.