Care England has responded to the Government’s proposals to ensure market sustainability and a fair cost of care, outlining key issues, questions, and concerns.
Care England’s detailed document is in response to the key issues raised by the Charging Reform and Fair Rate for Care proposals and the associated Social Care Charging Reform Impact Assessment. The document is said to help guide officials as Build Back Better is established and Parliamentarians as the Health and Care Bill makes its way through Parliament.
The key asks from Government include:
- To engage with Care England and its members immediately.
- To define the guidance given to local authorities in order to ensure a level of consistency rather than individually interpreted local authority approaches to Market Sustainability.
- A national standard for provider cost collection and support the LGA/ADASS approach, to devise a cost collection template for its local authority members, that Care England can help shape and support.
- A commitment that post the trailblazer findings, that funds will be provisioned to support role out nationally and that funding will not be restricted to their admitted many hypotheticals, which established the funding to be made available upon which everything is based.
- Funding for providers to implement the fair cost of care and the care cap as was afforded to local authorities; the Government state that the Care Cap is predicated by the Fair Cost of Care, and that it cannot be implemented without support and commitment of providers, and as such, they need to be part of the process from the outset and funded appropriately in order to ensure success.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said, ‘As a critical friend to Government, Care England has done a lot of research and fact finding about the nature of a truly sustainable adult social care sector. This vital sector employs over a million people and invests millions of pounds into the economy. With our vast breadth of membership it is imperative that DHSC includes Care England in discussions around the financial future of the sector.'
Care England 'encourages' the DHSC to set out a specific plan of engagement, outlining when adult social care providers will be engaged through this exercise.
Care England is supportive of meaningful reform, and it has expressed its support for the principles underpinning the Government’s direction of travel, namely choice, control, quality, fairness, and accessibility for those at the centre of the system. Integral to this is establishing a fair rate for care. Care England holds that the sentiment laid out the recently published policy papers do not achieve this ambition.
Visit the UK Government website for more details and updates on adult social care charging reform and the sustainability of the care sector.
In other news, a new survey published by the National Care Forum (NCF) reveals that the impact of the Omicron variant and the limitations of Government support on the frontline, is mounting the pressure faced by the social care sector.