End The Short-Termism Over Investment In Social Care

The funding of adult social care is due for an overhaul, and the government has laid out plans for this in recent weeks. The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not for profit care providers – have submitted a Report to the Chancellor of recommendations to include in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum said: “Following the recent announcement of the Health and Social Care Levy, the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR21) now needs to take the next steps to recognise and harness the economic potential social care brings at a local, regional and national level. Social Care must be seen as an essential part of the nation’s infrastructure, which can result in a more ambitious future for social care reform.

“All eyes are on the government’s new Levy as the way ahead for social care, yet the Spending Review will only tell part of the story of a complex patchwork of funding streams which combine in a way that appears to continue to leave everything to the last minute to understand exactly what funding will be available for the vital care of our citizens.

Adult social care is a major economic driver in the UK and contributes to local economies in every part of the country. Investment in adult social care is a very important avenue through which the government can ensure its spending review aims are met.

The announcement of £5.4bn over three years for adult social care in England as part of the new Levy can only ever be the beginning of what needs to be a much more expansive, co-produced and fundamental reform. This is the only way the burden on other parts of the public sector, including the NHS, will reduce and people receive the quality of care and support they want and need to live their lives well.

Rayner continues:“A larger share of the Levy needs to be apportioned to adult social care now and in the future if we are to see a transformed sector and harness and increase the £41.2bn worth of economic value the sector brings and ensure it can deliver to those that need it. The £5.4bn over three years falls considerably short of the additional £7bn per year recommended as a starting point for reform by the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the additional £3.9bn recommended by the Health Foundation to increase workforce salaries. Our submission also includes a call for the increases in National Insurance contributions to fund the Health and Care Levy to be paid for social care employers, just as they are for health.

“This CSR can build on the government’s Plan for Health and Care and end the short-termism over investment. We need to stop lurching from one announcement of emergency funding to another, and devise a streamlined long-term social care investment plan that maximises the investment potential, ensures funding reaches the frontline and ensures greater transparency about investment, wider economic benefits and returns to society.”

 

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