Damning statistics set to be revealed on the state of social care have prompted a representative group to call for urgent national talks to tackle the crisis.
The Independent Care Group says reported figures reveal how overdue action is to tackle care of our oldest and most vulnerable citizens.
The group’s chair, Mike Padgham said: “We have been arguing for years that social care across the country is in crisis. Generations of under-funding, exacerbated by the economic downturn have left the care of our oldest and most vulnerable citizens in tatters.
“Millions of pounds have been cut from social care by cash-strapped local authorities in recent years and it is inevitable that standards are going to fall and providers leave the sector.
”These statistics from the inspection body make grim reading, but unless we can bring reform to social care, the situation is going to get worse.”
Mr Padgham was speaking ahead of the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s annual state of care report. Figures reported in the media suggest that more than half of health and social care providers rated “inadequate” or “in need of improvement” at a CQC inspection either stayed the same or got worse when they were inspected again.
“Everyone takes a share of the blame for what is going wrong – Government, local authorities, providers and the public and we have to work together to resolve it,” Mr Padgham added.
“We have to get round the table and look at how we provide better care for people. If that means merging NHS and social care and if that means we have to look at raising more through taxes or National Insurance, then so be it – people are suffering and this cannot be allowed to go on.”
Earlier this year the Independent Care Group warned that the impact of the National Living Wage had contributed to grave fears about the future amongst its membership. Asked about the future, two per cent of those surveyed by the ICG feared they would close within a year, five per cent within two years and 10 per cent within three years.