The Care and Support Alliance has joined forces with the Association of Directors of Adult Services (ADASS), the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) and the NHS Confederation to call on the Government to invest in social care.
In a joint submission to the Treasury ahead of the Government’s spending review, we have warned that more and more people need social care, but fewer are getting it than before. This is leading to higher levels of unmet need displaced most likely to unpaid carers and the NHS. In addition, chronic under-funding of care means that quality is being compromised across the sector.
Moreover, the care market is fragile; councils have frozen fees and providers are exiting the market, with lenders delaying investment decisions in the care industry as they await the announcement of the spending review. In addition, while we have welcomed the announcement of the National Living Wage, it is essential that it is funded.
Vicky McDermott, chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said: “Chronic underfunding of social care has seen dramatic year-on-year rationing of support for older and disabled people and their carers, excluding hundreds of thousands of people from the support they desperately need.
“Investment in care is not only the right thing to do for some of the most vulnerable in society, but also makes economic sense as it will help ease the challenges faced by the NHS and other public services.
“The Government must take leadership on this issue and use the spending review in November to address the crisis in care.”
Ray James, President of ADASS said: “It is vitally important that this year’s Spending Review understands the importance of our services to vulnerable people; the significance of a well-funded, collaborative and integrated social care service has for the NHS, and the near-certainty that without adequate and sustained finances our ability to carry out our Care Act duties to maintain a viable home and residential market will be in jeopardy.”
Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Funding for health and social care is no longer keeping pace with public demand and it’s vital that this doesn’t put patients at risk. These services desperately need a sustainable, long-term financial settlement to avoid a real crisis and to help them plan and invest as wisely as possible. We have called for that commitment from the Treasury – including appropriate funding for social care. Having a shiny NHS cog will be no good in a broken health and care machine.
“Eighty-seven per cent of NHS leaders told us they want a five-year financial commitment from the Government on health and social care. And ninety-two per cent said funding cuts in social care were also having a negative knock-on effect on their own organisations and their services for patients.
“All these services are interconnected and all need greater financial certainty to build the new models of care outlined in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.”
Frank Ursell, representing the Care Providers Alliance, said: “The unprecedented scale and severity of the financial challenges facing the whole of the social care sector are such that we, the providers of services, have joined with the local authorities that commission those services to call on the government for urgent help.
“This means both protecting social care funding from any further budget cuts at a national level, and taking steps to bridge the significant and fast-worsening funding gap that will hit the entire sector over the next five years unless corrective action is taken now. Doing nothing is simply not an option if this country is to honour its obligations to older people and adults of all ages with mental health problems and disabilities.”