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Yet Another Wake-Up Call on Social Care

Lords’ report calls for sector shake up

CAMPAIGNERS today welcomed a House of Lords report calling for urgent action over the ’invisible’ and dwindling social care sector.

In a damning report, the Select Committee on Adult Social Care calls for better funding, a national long-term plan for the sector and the appointment of a Commissioner for Care and Support.

The care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) welcomes the report but says it is just the latest in a long line of warnings.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said:
“The suggestion of a long-term plan, better funding and the appointment of a Commissioner are all very welcome and we applaud the committee for its report.

“However, we have been warning for the best part of 30 years that social care was approaching crisis due to a lack of funding and proper regard for the sector.

“It cannot come as a surprise that some 12% of people over 50 are now living with some form of unmet care need – 2.6m people. That is a scandal.

“Here we have yet another very stark report – this time from within the corridors of Westminster – talking about a dwindling, invisible service which is letting people down and affecting the quality of their lives.

“We have to wonder how many times the Government needs to be warned that an iceberg is approaching before the ship sinks?”

The Committee’s report dismisses the measures for social care outlined in the recent Autumn Statement as “another failure to sustainably address the challenges faced by the social care system as a whole”.

The report says:

“First, we want adult social care to become a national imperative. This must be reflected in an appropriate and long-term funding settlement. Recent Government policy in relation to funding for social care has been vague and incoherent—in short, wholly insufficient to tackle the significant challenges faced by the sector. Together with funding, we want to see a properly resourced workforce strategy for social care. We also argue that the profile of social care must be raised within wider society, with a detailed, long-term national plan for the sector and the establishment of a Commissioner for Care and Support, to show how adult social care can have such positive and transformational power in people’s lives.”

Mr Padgham added: “These are very laudable aspirations but they have been called for previously. The test will be, as always, whether anyone in Government listens and takes up the Committee’s recommendations or this report goes on a shelf to gather dust with all the rest.”