A leading social care group is making a last-ditch appeal to the Chancellor to help the care of older and vulnerable adults in today’s Autumn Statement
The Independent Care Group has added its voice to a rising call for the Government to act today and tackle the crisis hitting social care.
A large group of providers and representative bodies have written to the Chancellor calling on him to address underfunding of social care in today’s Autumn Statement. (Watch here via Parliament TV)
The Independent Care Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham said: “The situation is clear, care homes are closing, homecare providers are handing back untenable contracts and worst of all our country’s oldest and most fragile residents are going without the care they need.
“This call cannot fall on deaf ears again and something must happen in today’s Statement.
“It is not only vital for the care of our oldest and most vulnerable it is also crucial because it will alleviate the growing pressure on the NHS, which is itself approaching meltdown!”
The Independent Care Group has already called for a referendum on social care and for providers to stand as MPs or councillors to raise the profile. It points to a perfect storm for pushing social care over the edge.
Mr Padgham added: “We currently have four factors creating a perfect storm – ever increasing demand for more and more complex care; greater and greater scrutiny of that care; tighter and tighter budgets to work in and rapidly rising costs – including the National Living Wage.
“We have a sector in crisis: more and more people going without care, care homes and domiciliary care agencies folding or on the brink, and greater and greater pressure on the NHS.”
Signatories to the letter to the Chancellor also call for the Government to visit the front-line to see the challenges facing social care and for greater engagement with the independent sector.
Latest statistics make grim reading: 1m people are now living with unmet care needs; social care spending has been cut by £5bn+ since 2009-10; and 26% fewer people are getting the help they need.
A £2.8bn funding gap is predicted by 2019-20 and in domiciliary care alone a £500m funding gap has been identified.
Between 2009 and 2015 the number of people receiving local authority-funded domiciliary care fell by 20%. The UKHCA and ADASS both report providers handing back “unsustainable” contracts.
On care homes, a quarter of homes in the UK – some 5,000 – are said to be in danger of going out of business, after 3,000 homes closed in the six months up to Sept 2015.
The Number of nursing homes fell from 4,697 to 4,633 in 2015-2016 – the first decline in five years.