Responding to a study by Healthwatch England on home care provision, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Home care services provide the vital support for some of our most vulnerable citizens to remain independent in their own homes. Councils are committed to driving up standards of care and work closely with local providers to try and continuously improve services for people who rely on home care.
“This report shows that while most people report that their services are good there is a need to improve services. The financial pressure facing services is having an impact and even the very best efforts of councils are not enough to avert the real and growing crisis we are facing in ensuring older people receive the care they deserve.
“The continuing under-funding of adult social care, the significant pressures of an ageing population and the National Living Wage, are combining to heap pressure on the home care provider market. This study shows the strain providers are under, and emphasises the urgent need for a long-term, sustainable solution to the social care funding crisis.
“While the £2 billion announced in the Spring Budget for social care was a step in the right direction, it is only one-off funding and social care services still face an annual £2.3 billion funding gap by 2020.
“It is absolutely critical that the Government brings forward its Green Paper on the future of social care announced in the Queen’s Speech, and that it works with local government leaders in delivering a long-term sustainable solution for social care. This must address the issue of long-term funding, but it must also create the conditions necessary to ensure the development of the right kind of care and support services.
“This is the only way to protect vital support services, like home care, ensuring older people and those with mental health conditions, learning and physical disabilities live dignified and fulfilling lives.”