The content of the statement has been met with shock and dismay with care providers and social care associations claiming the Government has betrayed the elderly and vulnerable by failing to take the opportunity to address an ageing populations’ needs.
Independent Care Group commented “The Government has betrayed millions of vulnerable older people by failing to address the social care crisis in today’s Autumn Statement
“The Chancellor missed an opportunity to fund social care properly, give vulnerable adults the care they are going without and ease pressure on the overstretched NHS.”
Chair, Mike Padgham said: “Today’s Autumn Statement completely ignored the loud and irresistible pleas of care providers, charities and politicians to address the crisis in social care which is robbing vulnerable adults of the care they need.
“This decision will mean more care home closures, fewer hours of homecare delivered and misery for people who deserve better. This is a missed opportunity and with social care and the NHS both at breaking point, it will be one that will have huge repercussions for the future.
“The call for action was louder and greater than ever before and was coming from all corners and yet it has fallen on deaf ears again. How do we get change? Do we have to stand as MPs to get social care’s case heard?”
The Independent Care Group called on the government to address social care in the Autumn Statement amidst fears that a perfect storm was driving the sector 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 rising 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.”
A £2.8bn social care funding gap is predicted by 2019-20 and in domiciliary care alone a £500m funding gap has been identified
United Kingdom Homecare Association’s (UKHCA) Chief Executive, Bridget Warr CBE, said:
“The absence of reference to funding social care services in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is exasperating for everyone who supports older and disabled people.
“The amassed evidence from providers, commissioners, sector analysts and colleagues in the health service has presented a consistent picture of a sector under extreme pressure, which should it fail, will let down citizens who rely on state-funded support.
“We urge Government to take immediate action to bring forward funding to maintain the immediate viability of social care services.”
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said: “Today’s Autumn Statement is a missed opportunity for the Government to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of people with dementia and their carers, leaving them to struggle at a time when they need vital care and support. We already hear about families being forced to either give up work early to provide unpaid care or dip into savings to afford it – this is only going to get worse.
“Dementia is now the biggest killer and, with the NHS currently on its knees, the Government’s failure to resuscitate social care from its crisis point is nonsense economics. The roof of the health and care system is leaking and we’re not even mopping up the floor.”