Responding to a study by Which? on private home care providers, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“This study sadly reflects the harsh reality of the social care crisis, which is affecting the quality of care provided and its availability. It is a further warning on the sustainability of the care market, which is becoming increasingly fragile.
“There is an urgent need for genuinely new funding and long-term reform of the sector, if councils and providers are to address the severity of challenges facing the provider market to ensure people receive high quality care at the right time and in the right place for them.
“There is an estimated £1.3 billion funding gap between what providers say they need and what councils currently pay. This is an immediate and annually recurring gap that is impacting on the system today, and part of a wider annual £2.3 billion shortfall that adult social care will face by 2020.
“Councils have been doing all they can to protect services that care for older and disabled people and will continue to do so, but if the system continues unchecked then this risks further quality concerns and increasing number of providers either pulling out of contracts or going out of business.
“Urgent action is needed before the reforms promised following this summer’s green paper so that older and disabled people receive quality care that supports their wellbeing and independence and can better plan for the future.
“Government needs to address this in the forthcoming final Local Government Finance Settlement.”