‘Devastated’ social care sector needs more money before year ends – MPs

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Nangland’s “devastated” adult social care sector urgently needs more money from the Government before the end of the year, MPs have warned.

The Leveling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee said the sector needed a cash injection and a long-term plan to help it meet immediate cost pressures and become sustainable in the coming years.

The cross-party committee said the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic have exacerbated the underlying challenges of rising demand, unmet need and difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff.

Rising inflation and increases in the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are also adding pressure.

Those who need care, their loved ones, and care workers deserve better.

The committee, which carried out an inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care, said the “message is clear” that adult social care “does not have enough funding either here and now, or in the long term”. .

It said the government currently had “nothing more than a vision” for social care, with no timetable or progress measures.

The committee was told that money allocated to social care from the new National Insurance Levy “will not touch the surface”.

And he said he believed the £25 million promised over three years for measures to support carers was “grossly inadequate” and would do little to reassure them. That their cooperation should be valued.

Committee chairman Clive Bates said the government “deserves credit” for its reform efforts but that the government had only “come close” to saving social care, and there was still a long way to go.

He said: “Ultimately, whether it is related to immediate cost pressures or wider structural problems in the sector, the fundamental problem is that there remains a large funding gap in adult social care that needs to be filled. need of

“Those who need care, their loved ones, and care workers deserve better.

“NHS and adult social care provision should not be pitted against each other.

“Both systems are interdependent and each needs to be adequately funded to reduce pressure on the other.

“Wherever the money comes in – from allocating more of the levy’s revenue to social care, or from a grant from central government – the government can immediately allocate more funding to adult social care in the order of billions every year. need to.”

Councilor David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “There is an urgent need to address the current unmet and underserved need within social care funding.

“Evidence from across the sector shows the current crisis in workforce capacity, waiting times and tight council budgets.”

Age UK said the committee recognized in so many words that social care was “very under-resourced in terms of people and money”.

Charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “Millions of our fellow citizens are currently living in poverty because they need reliable, high-quality care services that are not available to them.

“The consequences are profoundly damaging for them and for the rest of us, with older people increasingly ill, forcing unpaid carers to help their loved ones. Leave work for, and disabled people who can work and live rich and full lives. Life is trapped within its own four walls – all this amounts to a terrible waste of human and economic potential and puts extra pressure on the NHS.

Donna Rowe-Merriman, head of the Business and Community Alliance, said: “Aspirations and reductions in poverty are at the heart of their planned but limited reforms.

“The immediate priority must be to increase fair pay across the care sector. Low wages and inadequate sick pay explain why thousands of staff are leaving for better-paid jobs elsewhere.”

A government spokesman said: “We are already taking decisive action to ease the pressure on the system to end unexpected costs and support those working in the sector to support adults over the next three years. This includes an additional £5.4 billion investment in social care.

“This year, we have provided local authorities with £3.7 billion of extra funding, which they can spend on adult social care.

“We are also setting out our 10-year vision for adult social care, which details the reforms to the sector and the initiatives to be implemented over the next three years to deliver for people.”