The Care and Support Alliance has joined others in calling on the UK Government to do more to tackle the social care crisis, it has been reported today.
In a joint submission to the Treasury, the care sector warns that funding cuts have resulted in less elderly and disabled people receiving the care they need.
This comes at a time when more people than ever need social care services, and chronic under-funding means the quality of care has been compromised across the sector.
The care sector claims that the market has become increasingly more fragile, with councils freezing fees and pushing providers out of the market.
They also warn that although a ‘National Living Wage’ is welcome, it must be fully funded.
And lenders are delaying investment in the care industry while they wait to find out what Chancellor George Osborne will announce in the Autumn spending review.
Vicky McDermott, chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said: “Chronic underfunding of social care has seen dramatic year-on-year rationing of support for older and disabled people and their carers, excluding hundreds of thousands of people from the support they desperately need.
“Investment in care is not only the right thing to do for some of the most vulnerable in society, but also makes economic sense as it will help ease the challenges faced by the NHS and other public services.
“The Government must take leadership on this issue and use the spending review in November to address the crisis in care.”
Ray James, President of ADASS said: “It is vitally important that this year’s Spending Review understands the importance of our services to vulnerable people; the significance of a well-funded, collaborative and integrated social care service has for the NHS, and the near-certainty that without adequate and sustained finances our ability to carry out our Care Act duties to maintain a viable home and residential market will be in jeopardy.”
Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Funding for health and social care is no longer keeping pace with public demand and it’s vital that this doesn’t put patients at risk.
“These services desperately need a sustainable, long-term financial settlement to avoid a real crisis and to help them plan and invest as wisely as possible. We have called for that commitment from the Treasury – including appropriate funding for social care.
“Having a shiny NHS cog will be no good in a broken health and care machine.
“Eighty-seven per cent of NHS leaders told us they want a five-year financial commitment from the Government on health and social care. And ninety-two percent said funding cuts in social care were also having a negative knock-on effect on their own organisations and their services for patients.
“All these services are interconnected and all need greater financial certainty to build the new models of care outlined in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.”
Frank Ursell, representing the Care Providers Alliance, said: “The unprecedented scale and severity of the financial challenges facing the whole of the social care sector are such that we, the providers of services, have joined with the local authorities that commission those services to call on the government for urgent help.
“This means both protecting social care funding from any further budget cuts at a national level, and taking steps to bridge the significant and fast-worsening funding gap that will hit the entire sector over the next five years unless corrective action is taken now.
“Doing nothing is simply not an option if this country is to honour its obligations to older people and adults of all ages with mental health problems and disabilities.”