Annual adult social care spending in England is £600m lower than ten years ago a report published today has revealed.
The findings come in a report by the TUC which sets out proposals for social care reform.
The analysis show that social care spending is still below 2010 levels in 112 out of 150 local authorities with spending per head having dropped 8% over 10 years. Regional reductions range from 18% in London, to 5% in the South East, East Midlands and East of England.
The report sets out a route map to fix social care, including a new funding settlement, immediate funding to fill all job vacancies, fair pay and conditions for care workers, a national Social Care Forum, a reduced private sector role and a universal service that is free at the point of use.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “When the country needed them, social care workers stepped up. Care workers looked after older and disabled people in the midst of a pandemic, often without the right PPE, and often for low wages and no sick pay.
“Now it’s time to fix the broken system. Social care is badly underfunded. Pay and conditions for care workers are dreadful. And families can’t be sure of high-quality, affordable care when a family member needs it.
“As we face mass unemployment, ministers should act to unlock the 120,000 existing social care vacancies right now. And they should put investment in social care at the heart of our national recovery plan.
“Social care jobs should be decent jobs on fair pay, at the heart of every community. The TUC’s plan sets out how a full funding settlement for social care would work. Ministers can’t spend another decade hiding from the social care crisis.”
A DHSC spokesperson said: “We recognise the challenges facing the social care sector and we are doing everything we can to support it.
“We have provided councils with access to an additional £1.5 billion for adult and children’s social care in 2020/21 and we have made £3.7 billion available to councils in England so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care, as well as a £600m Infection Control Fund.
“We know there is a need for a long-term solution for social care and are looking at a range of proposals as part of our commitment to bringing forward a plan that puts the sector on a sustainable footing for the future.”