Care providers are urging the Government to listen and take action after another report on the perilous state of the sector.
They have accused the Government of continuing to ignore the plight of care providers, despite numerous warnings from them and other social care experts.
A new report from The University of Warwick on the financial impact of Covid-19 on care homes, published today, found that the Government did not support homes properly, particularly after the worst of the pandemic was over.
It concluded that the Government’s decision to end financial support after the first year of the pandemic had contributed to the difficulties now faced by care homes.
The provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the report provides more evidence of the neglect of the care home sector.
“The report says what we have been saying for a generation, that social care has been so chronically under-funded that it was in a perilous state even before the pandemic.
“Whilst we got some help during the worst of Covid-19 that stopped far too quickly. Since then, the extra costs associated with the pandemic, combined with huge increases in energy and utility costs and the ongoing staffing challenges have all pushed the sector deeper into the abyss.
“Care and nursing homes have been closing and homecare providers handing back contracts or ceasing to operate. Those providing local-authority funded care have been particularly badly hit.
“When we surveyed our members earlier this year, a frightening number said they feared for the future.”
Mr Padgham added: “Given the cutbacks the sector has suffered for decades there will be further closures within the sector.
“We appreciate that local authorities and the NHS are suffering financially themselves and that it is down to Government to properly fund the sector. We must address the low pay issue in the sector too and achieve parity with NHS staff.
“Far from increasing funding the Government confirmed last week that, for example, £500m earmarked to help train the social care workforce has been halved to £250m.”