Adding that the crisis in social services was becoming more and more acute. “Any resilience that vendors had, before Covid, has been eroded because of the fiasco around PPE and everything we went through before funding was available,” she said.
Health care providers are unwilling to disclose problems to their local government clients or the Care Quality Commission for fear of being subject to special measures or losing care contracts. Almost half of the care homes that responded to the Hampshire Care Association (HCA) survey said they feared the current crisis would put them in a high risk position with their bank or lender.
Andrea Pattison, HCA board member who conducted the survey, said: “It’s not just a problem for one or two banks or one or two vendors. The majority of the sector is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises, and the government must intervene to prevent banks from closing viable businesses, imposing adverse conditions or withdrawing financing.
“Failure to do so would pose a threat to the adult social care sector as a whole and, by extension, to the NHS, which relies on us to provide quality care.
“It was a shock to hear providers say that their banks were not interested in social protection as a sector. It was extremely worrying.
A spokesperson for banking representative, UK Finance, said: “Lenders understand the current pressures on the social care sector and are actively providing support for viable businesses. As responsible lenders, finance providers will regularly be in touch with their customers to check on their status and see if any assistance may be required.”
A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to the delivery of world-class social care and the new £5.4 billion funding for the sector will put in place comprehensive reforms that are sustainable and fit for the future.
“We have also provided councils with access to over £1 billion of additional funding for social care in 2021-22. This will support councils to maintain care services while keeping up with rising demand and recovering from the impact of COVID-19.
“In addition to this £6 billion has been made available to local authorities to address pressures on their services, including support for the social care sector.”