The government has come under fire after failing to offer new measures for social care in yesterday’s Budget.
While Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced at least £5bn for the NHS to fight the coronavirus, there was no new money for social care.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock told MPs social care would also get money to cope with the virus, however, stressing it would be at the “frontline of our response”.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC had offered “nothing” to tackle to the social care crisis.
Martin Green OBE, CEO, Care England, told CHP: “We were pleased to see that the Chancellor acknowledged that there was a major challenge with coronavirus; but very disappointed that he did not explicitly make a commitment to funding social care services. People who are receiving social care often are vulnerable because they have several co-morbidities and social care services must be able to function during this current crisis.”
Nadra Ahmed OBE, executive chairman of the National Care Association, added: “The omission of any financial support for the social care sector is deeply disappointing. Once again we find that government has chosen to ignore the fact that frontline services provided by our sector is an essential service for vulnerable people in our communities. What else can one say…very short-sighted!”
Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, said the Chancellor had failed to address the long term financing and reform of social care.
“NCF continues to call for a reform agenda which looks ahead to determine a social care system that addresses both the current short fall, and presents a clear and coherent narrative to develop a system that will address future care needs for generations to come,” Vic said.
Laurence Geller CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loveday&Co, said the Budget was a “missed opportunity” to fund a proper skills accreditation scheme to improve social care staff retention.
Gemma Hope, director of policy at Leonard Cheshire, condemned the Budget’s “lack of action” on social care.
“Disabled people urgently need to see a clear plan on social care,” Gemma added. “This should include long-term funding that ensures access to high-quality care and support for people of all ages. If the government wants to honour its pledges on social care, it must build a fair system for all.”
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said the Budget was a “missed opportunity” to tackle the social care crisis, adding the onus was now on the government to “press on swiftly” with proposed cross-party talks.
A Treasury spokesperson told CHP the government was focused on pursuing cross-party talks to find a long term solution for social care.