It is calling on the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to rethink its planned hike in fees or risk damaging social care.
The proposed rise in the fee providers have to pay to the CQC will add thousands to the costs faced by care providers.
In the case of homecare providers the increase would be 313% phased over two or four years and for care home owners a huge rise, again phased over similar periods.
The Independent Care Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham said the proposed rise came at a time when social care was on its knees and was totally unacceptable.
“Social care is at an all-time low, with £4bn cut from budgets in recent years, fewer and fewer people receiving the care they need and providers going out of existence,” he said.
“Providers are already having to plan for the introduction of the National Living Wage next spring, without enough funding in the sector to pay for it. For this huge rise in the CQC fee to come on top is adding insult to injury and could be the final straw for many providers.”
The CQC is having to increase its fees to make itself self-financing. In the past it has received grant aid from the government, but this is to be cut by up to 40%.
“The CQC’s Chief Executive says it is committed to moving to full cost recovery, in other words to making the body self-financing, and that is admirable. I have sympathy for the position the regulator finds itself in,” added Mr Padgham.
“But when will social care see its own full cost recovery and see providers paid the true cost of delivering their services? The CQC should be inspecting the way care is commissioned.
“Through its action of putting up registration fees, the inspection body for social care may well severely damage those very providers it was ostensibly set up to regulate and work with to raise standards.
“In a civilised society we are surely judged by the way we care for our oldest and most vulnerable citizens – well the current state of affairs surrounding social care doesn’t reflect well upon us at all.”
Mr Padgham says the Government must address social care funding in its forthcoming autumn spending review.
“The government must decide whether it wants to provide proper care for older people, care that gives them the dignity and respect they deserve. If it does, it must provide the proper funding for social care in this country otherwise it will be impossible,” he added.