Regional care providers are urging their local authorities to ensure extra money announced in the budget actually gets through to frontline care services.
The Independent Care Group is calling on both City of York and North Yorkshire County councils to revisit the fees they pay to providers after the Chancellor announced an extra £2bn for social care – £1bn of which can be used in 2017-18.
It wants to see the councils use their share of that fund to pay a fairer price for the care it commissions from local providers across York, Scarborough, Harrogate, Selby and the surrounding area, in the coming year.
The call comes after BBC’s Panorama programme revealed that 69 home care companies have closed in the last three months and one in four of the UK’s home care companies are at risk of going under. Research showed that the companies can no longer provide care for the amount they are being paid by social care commissioners like local authorities. Figures also suggest that a quarter of care homes are at risk because of the crisis in social care.
The Local Government Association has warned that the social care market is on the brink of collapse.
The Independent Care Group’s chair, Mike Padgham said providers across North Yorkshire and York had been left disappointed by the fee increases offered this year, with many saying it was not enough to allow them to continue providing proper care and reward staff appropriately.
“Now that this extra funding is being made available by the Government, it is only fair that the majority should be passed on to those providing the care and working hard on the front line, which is what the Government intended,” Mr Padgham said.
“The Government has said this money is to enable local authorities to take immediate action to fund care for more people, support social care providers in supplying that care and relieve pressure on the NHS.
“We are going back to our local authorities and asking them to revisit the fees they have said they will pay providers in the coming year in the light of the additional funding and seeking an improvement in the offer.
“It is vital that this extra money goes to providing care for the region’s oldest and most vulnerable adults, and doesn’t get swallowed up in bureaucracy.”