Social care leaders from Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) , Care England, and National Care Forum (NCF) are calling on the government for a 10-year plan and desperately needed funding to help social care recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said the Chancellor must “must put meeting the needs of older and disabled people, carers and families at the heart of his plans for economic recovery”.
ADASS called for short-term funding as well as a ten-year plan for the sector, including a workforce plan which confirms a social care minimum wage of £10.90.
James Bullion, ADASS president, said: “We want to hear the Chancellor explicitly recognise the potential of adult social care to help drive economic recovery.
“We need more than just another reiteration of the promise that the Government will bring forward plans for social care later this year. Those plans should be a foundation stone of the recovery blueprint.”
Care England has written to the chancellor urging him to make good on the government’s commitment to adult social care in his Budget this week.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, says: “The sector is tired of empty promises, White Papers and consultations, 13 of these in the last 17 years, that always end up in the long grass. It is now or never; we need a 1948 moment with a commitment in the Budget that the Prime Minister will tackle the social care crisis.”
Adding: “A ten-year plan akin to that of the NHS would be a great help to the sector, which in turn is part of the national infrastructure. Adult social care needs to be placed at the forefront of future policy planning and cannot remain an addendum to the NHS. Care England wants to work with the Government to ensure that this does not remain a pipedream.”
Independent Care Group (ICG) chair Mike Padgham said Mr Sunak had the chance to go down in history as the Chancellor who tackled the social care crisis.
Amongst other things, the ICG wants to see NHS health care and social care merged and managed either locally or nationally; extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance; a properly costed national rate for care fees and a proper salary and career pathway to recognise and reward social care staff.
“COVID-19 exposed a care sector in crisis and a terrible price was paid,” Mike said. “Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, the social care sector must be the first to get the reform and help it needs to recover.”
Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, said: “Now is the time to act – we are ambitious for social care – and we need this budget to show just how ambitious the Government and the country are for social care too.”