Jeremy Hunt urged to meet his own suggested cash injection
CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the Chancellor to give social care the extra £7bn a year he himself has said it needs, when he announces his Autumn Statement next week.
When Jeremy Hunt was its Chair, the Health and Social Care Committee said social care needed an extra £7bn a year as a ‘starting point’.
Now the care provider organisation, the Independent Care Group (ICG), says Mr Hunt has the perfect opportunity to make good on that suggestion next Wednesday.
The call comes after local authorities warned that they are running out of money and the body representing homecare providers said an extra £2.08bn a year was needed just to cope with current demand for its services.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Nobody knows better what is needed for social care than Mr Hunt himself and so we look to him to tackle social care in next week’s statement.
“He was Chair of the committee that said, “the gravity of the crisis now facing the social care sector requires a bold response…”
“That was three years ago and we are still waiting. Meanwhile the crisis in the sector deepens, with fewer and fewer people getting care, less and less homecare, residential and nursing care available and delayed discharges from hospitals rising once again.
“As a former health secretary and as chair of the committee right up until he became Chancellor, it will be hard for Mr Hunt to argue that social care doesn’t need some financial help next week.”
The ICG wants the Chancellor to better fund social care to address a growing crisis in the sector.
This week the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) warned that almost 250,000 people were waiting to have their care needs assessed. In all, some 470,576 people are waiting for care packages to start or for that assessment. ADASS says councils need an extra £900m just to stabilise the sector.
Meanwhile the Homecare Association says only 5% of councils and NHS trusts are paying homecare providers enough to cover the cost of delivering the service. It warns of the risk of providers being non-compliant with employment or care regulations or becoming insolvent. The Association has called for just over £2bn extra a year to be invested in homecare just to meet current demand.