Four in five care operators fear for their future with annual fee rises failing to keep up with their additional operating costs.
A National Care Association (NCA) survey found that 78% of respondents were concerned about their viability up from 68% in 2019 with only 15% of local authorities having proposed fee increases as providers prepare for the new financial year.
Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of NCA (pictured) said it was “astounding” that some LAs believed fee freezes were a “credible option”.
The NCA survey revealed average fee increases of 2%, well below providers’ rises in essential operating costs.
Average weekly fees for NCA SME members are around £650, equivalent to less than a weekly rate for bed and breakfast.
Nadra said: “National and local government should be concerned by the statistical evidences from this survey and the comments of the providers who are critical to in the response for those who need care and support. Additionally, there needs to be serious consideration about the fact that if the social care sector is left to collapse the NHS will be completely overwhelmed with vulnerable people who need care and support.”
The NCA called on government to deliver sustainable funding options rather than a “reactive sticking plaster approach, which raises expectations and leaves the provider to maintain them from within an every decreasing funding envelope”.