Latest Public Sector News

21.09.15

Social care funds shortfall is growing by £700m a year as ‘crisis’ deepens

Council leaders have backed calls from organisations representing consumers, providers and commissioners of adult social care services for the government to ensure “adequate and sustained” funding for services.

In a united voice, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Care and Support Alliance (CSA, representing charities), the Care Provider Alliance and NHS Confederation, said the social care sector is in danger of a “deepening crisis” which is compromising the dignity, health and wellbeing of older and disabled people. 

In their Spending Review submission, the organisations warn that with more people living longer with more complex needs this requires more trained and supported staff

While the organisations say that sustaining a steady workforce is “challenging” they welcome the chancellor’s National Living Wage announcement, but this “needs to be funded”. 

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.” 

The consortium of social care organisations also urge the government to ensure that social care funding is protected, including making provision for the funding gap which will have grown in social care funding by 2020,  alongside the £8bn gap in NHS funding over the same period. 

Responding to the submission, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, community and wellbeing spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), said: “Insufficient funding, growing demand and extra costs pressures, such as introducing the National Living Wage, means the funding gap in adult social care is growing by a minimum of just over £700m a year.” 

She urged a longer-term solution in the Spending Review that provides adequate funding for adult social care. “Failure to do so will deprive our elderly and disabled of the care they deserve and create additional pressure on the NHS,” she said. 

Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said that 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. 

Vicky McDermott, chair of the CSA, said her organisation has long been concerned about the crisis facing the social care system and the impact this is having on disabled and older people, as well as carers and family members. 

But a Department of Health spokesman said the care sector would be benefitting from the extra investment in the NHS, adding that it is already getting “NHS and councils working together to keep people well and living independently”.

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