Care England has welcomed the new Government measures to support the social care sector contained within the publication ‘Our plan for patients’ and the reverse to the 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance from 6 November.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“The £500m of additional funding allocated as part of the plan represents much-needed investment ahead of what will be a challenging winter period. The Government has rightly recognised the need to address hospital discharge issues and the role that the care sector plays in doing so. The social care workforce, undoubtedly our most valuable asset, needs recognition and support in this difficult time. The announcement of further efforts to boost recruitment, both domestic and international, is positive. However, what is now needed is a focus on a long-term solution to these underlying issues that puts social care on an equal footing with the NHS and delivers investment that matches the scale and severity of current problems. Care England is eager to work closely with the Government to develop this forward-thinking strategy.”
The Secretary of State, Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey has announced Our plan for patients, the newest Government initiative to tackle the challenges facing the health and social care sector. Among the measures announced to support the social care sector are:
- £500m Adult Social Care Discharge and Workforce Fund to support discharge from hospital into the community and bolster the social care workforce. The fund can be used flexibly by local health and care systems who need to work collaboratively to address local issues and strengthen the sector’s ability to recruit and retain staff.
- The next phase of a national recruitment campaign to encourage more people to join the social care workforce via DWP and Jobcentre Plus.
- £15m to help boost international recruitment of care workers.
- Support for care providers to adopt digital records.
- Delivery of the ‘cap and means test’ social care reforms by October 2023.
The 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance will be reversed from 6 November, the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has also announced.
The Levy was expected to raise around £13 billion a year to fund health and social care. The Chancellor confirmed that the funding for health and social care services will be maintained at the same level as if the Levy were in place, protecting the NHS through the winter and ensuring long-term investment in social care, with the additional funding used to replace the expected revenue from the Levy will come from general taxation.
Martin Green continues:
“The reverse to the 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance is positive for both care workers and providers given the significant sums in increased National Insurance contributions were not offset by Government, putting financial sustainability of care providers under further strain. The approximated impact upon the sector, for both employers and employees, was circa £600m per annum. This was at odds with the NHS where employer contributions were being recompensed by Government. This indeed is a welcome step to rebalancing the funding between health and social care. What is vital now is for a greater proportion of the £13bn, that was due to be generated through the Levy, to be diverted directly to adult social care providers.”