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Care Charity Chief Says Chancellor Needs to Turn his Words Into Actions in his Autumn Statement

Speaking about the forthcoming Autumn statement on Thursday 17 November 2022, Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive of the Methodist Homes (MHA), the country’s largest charitable care provider, said:

“A year ago we were hopeful with plans announced to reform the social care sector, improve funding and make it fit for the future. This week it is likely the Chancellor will scupper those hopes with the announcement that reforms are being delayed and grants to local authorities reduced.

“This is a Chancellor who, while Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, said the sector needed billions of pounds of additional investment every year just to stand still, and urgent reform if we’re to meet future needs. It is time for Jeremy Hunt to turn his words into actions.

“The expected announcement of the delays is to the detriment of older people, their families and those who care for them. Continued rising costs, energy prices rocketing, low wages for care workers and now uncertainty for the future means we have a sector that is at breaking point with the risk of homes closing due to being financially unsustainable.

“For far too many years, fees paid by local authorities and health bodies have not kept pace with the true cost of care, something the Fair Cost of Care reforms should have addressed. We are losing valuable colleagues to retail and hospitality because we cannot meet their wages due to this gap in funding.

“As a sector we need stability and funding which meets our true costs, the needs of those we care for and recognises through higher wages the skills of those who do the caring.

“Without these reforms, stability and funding we cannot help and support the NHS as we would wish by being there for more older people and preventing them from needing hospital care.

“It is time for the Government to stick to their plans for social care reform and come good on their promises for older people.”