CHRONIC underfunding of care provided for our oldest and most vulnerable has today been exposed by the Government, campaigners say.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) has called for urgent action to tackle the gap between the true cost of giving care in care and nursing homes and in people’s own homes, and what care providers are paid to deliver it.
In its own report the Government has admitted that local authorities are not paying enough to provide proper care.
The Government report, Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund: purpose and conditions 2022 to 2023, says:
“…a significant number of local authorities are paying residential and domiciliary care providers less than it costs to deliver the care received. This is undermining their markets, creating unfairness, affecting sustainability and, at times, leading to poorer quality outcomes.”
Now the ICG wants to see Government and local authorities work together to properly fund the provision of care.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Here we have in black and white a clear admission that care is not being properly funded on the front line.
“Local authorities will themselves argue that they are not getting enough funding to commission care, so it is vital that both sides address the issue.
“Sadly, what the Government is proposing to inject into social care is nowhere near enough to address the issues.
“The people who are suffering are the 1.5m who can’t get the care they need and care providers who are struggling to survive in the Covid-19 landscape.”
Some £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010 and experts say at least £10bn extra a year is needed to get back to previous levels.
The ICG is calling for a root and branch overhaul of the way care is funded.
“Social care has been chronically under-funded for a generation and the rigours of Covid-19 has left it on its knees, struggling to provide care for our oldest and most vulnerable in care and nursing homes and in their own homes,” Mr Padgham added.“Financial cutback after financial cutback has left the provision of care in tatters. The Government, and previous governments before this one, have failed social care time and time again, showing the same failure to grasp the simple equation that if you don’t fund social care properly it will fail and today we have yet more evidence to prove that.”