Social care funding gap “can no longer be ignored” says coalition
Caring Times latest
A coalition of 15 social care providers and other organisations has sent an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, urging him to close the funding gap in his Comprehensive Spending Review. It reads:
Those of us involved in caring for older and disabled people have been warning for some time that the economics of care are completely unsustainable. In spite of an ageing population, there has been a 31% reduction in social care spending over the last five years and, whilst all care workers thoroughly deserve the new National Living Wage, its unfunded introduction leaves the care sector facing a devastating financial collapse.
As Chancellor, one of your top priorities in the Spending Review should be finding a way to fill the funding gap for adult social care which by the end of the decade will be £2.9bn.
This can no longer be ignored. Up to 50% of the care home market will become financially unviable and care homes will start to close their doors. 74% of homecare providers who work with local councils, have said that they will have to reduce the amount of publicly-funded care they provide. If no action is taken, it is estimated that this would affect half of all of the people and their families who rely on these vital services.
Failing to act now will cost the public purse significantly more in the long term. The NHS will inevitably have to pick up the pieces and beds in the NHS cost three times that of those in the care sector. The human costs are greater still. The reality will be older and vulnerable people being shunted around from place to place and ending their lives alone in hospitals. Already we have seen a near 50% increase in hospital admissions of people with dementia since 2008/9 and further limitations on social care funding would only increase this.
As care providers, charities, unions, campaigners and representatives of local government we are of one voice. The spending review will be judged by how it provides for the most vulnerable in our society. We urge you not to leave older and disabled people and their families to weather the storm alone.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England
Bridget Warr, Chief Executive, United Kingdom Home Care Association
Avnish Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, Hallmark Care Homes
Ray James, President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Mike Parish, Chief Executive, Care UK
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society
Helen Simmons, Chief Executive, Nightingale Hammerson
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive, Carers UK
Justin Bowden, National Officer, GMB
Dr Chai Patel, Executive Chairman, HC-One
Sarah Vero, Director, Living Wage Foundation
Bishop of Carlisle, The Rt Revd James Newcome, Chair, Citizens UK Social Care Campaign
Neil Jameson, Executive Director, Citizens UK
Ian Smith, Chairman, Four Seasons Health Care
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK
Dr Pete Calveley, Chief Executive, Barchester Healthcare