National disability charity, Sense, has responded to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual assessment which warns that adult social care is approaching tipping point.
The CQC report that the number of people to receive council funded care has fallen by a quarter over the last five years. They also acknowledge that many providers are refusing to take on care packages from councils on the grounds that the funding offered to provide care is not sufficient to meet quality standards.
The report also revealed that almost half of the social care providers rated as requiring improvement by the regulator had failed to improve services since last year. While 8% of providers who the CQC had judged to be in need of improvement had actually deteriorated on re-inspection, being downgraded to inadequate.
Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy for national disability charity, Sense, said:
“Sadly it comes as no surprise to hear the CQC’s warning of an adult social care system reaching tipping point. The Government’s repeated cuts to social care budgets have taken their toll on councils, who are now struggling to provide the essential care that people need.
“The care sector is in crisis with rising costs of provision and inadequate funding preventing providers from taking up council care contracts, closing care homes that are no longer financially viable or choosing to exit the social care market entirely. Chronic underfunding of these vital services has seen the number of care homes drop by 1,500 in the past six years and is causing decreased access to quality care for elderly and disabled people across the country.
“To make matters worse, almost half of care services that were deemed in need of improvement last year by the CQC have failed to improve, which means that in some cases people with care and support needs have no option other than to utilise inadequate services, cope without any social care at all or rely on the NHS at times of crisis.
The Government simply cannot afford to ignore any more warnings and must immediately deliver the funding required to ensure that we have a sustainable quality social care system that meets the needs of those who need it.”