Responding to a report by Independent Age revealing that two-thirds of MPs in England believe there is a lack of high-quality care homes for older people in their constituencies, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“This telling survey is further evidence that the social care crisis is rising up the worry list of MPs of all parties and cannot be ignored. It follows the recent publication of the Competition and Markets Authority report on the care home market, which further underlined the significant funding shortfall facing the sector.
“MPs are rightly concerned that the quality and choice of care homes will get worse unless immediate action is taken to tackle social care underfunding.
“Thousands of older and disabled people deserve to be given a decent choice of care homes providing quality care, but the sad reality is that the underfunding of the sector is threatening the quality of care on offer and its availability. This means that an increasing number of providers are either pulling out of public contracts or going out of business.
“Already we are seeing an unfair, unequal two-tier system emerging between those able to choose and pay for their own care, and those reliant on increasingly overstretched council-funded care which is struggling to meet people’s needs as a result of chronic underfunding of adult social care.
“There is an urgent need for genuinely new funding and long-term reform of the sector to ensure people receive high-quality care at the right time and in the right place for them.
“Before the long-awaited reforms promised following this summer’s green paper, government needs to use the forthcoming final Local Government Finance Settlement to address the estimated £1.3 billion annual recurring funding gap that is impacting on the system today, which is part of a wider annual £2.3 billion shortfall that adult social care will face by 2020.”