'Fragile' care sector unites to call for 'adequate and sustained' funding

'Fragile' care sector unites to call for 'adequate and sustained' funding
The ADASS is one of the 20 organisations to have united
22/09/2015 - 07:24
The care sector is ‘in danger of a deepening crisis’ according to a proposal sent to the Government by leading organisations in the industry, ahead of November’s spending review.

Speaking togther, ADASS, the Care and Support Alliance, the Care Provider Alliance and the NHS Confederation, said: “The quality, safety and sufficiency of social care services are fundamental to a dignified society. However, the social care sector is in danger of a deepening crisis which is compromising the dignity, health and wellbeing of older and disabled people, their families and carers, the workforce as well as the economy.”

The collective have called for council funding, which encompasses services including Meals on Wheels, to be protected, in a similar way to the NHS.

The document, which has been signed by organisations including Age UK, UK Home Care Association and Arc England, explains that demand for the social care system is growing in our ageing population, but funding has seen £4.6 billion of cuts.

The proposal goes on to claim that the cuts have led to 400,000 fewer disabled and older people receiving publicly funded help and the sector is having to deal with an increasingly complex number of needs.

Other highlights of the document, include how the quality of social care is compromised because of the lack of funding, CQC data shows 8.7% of adult social care providers inspected were rated inadequate, whilst another 31.9% ‘required improvement’.

The introduction of the National Living Wage at £9 per hour was also noted as a concern. The proposal states: “Without the necessary government funding to realise this ambition (the NLW) we have serious concerns as to how councils will be able to meet the costs.”

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.”

Frank Ursell, a representative of the Care Providers Alliance, said: “Collectively, we deliver essential care to some of the most vulnerable people in society.  To meet the growing needs of an ageing population, to achieve and maintain the necessary quality standards, to recruit and retain nurses and other care staff, and to create a sustainable financial model of care for the future, the government must act quickly and decisively. 

“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.”

Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, added: “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 per cent 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."

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