The National Care Forum (NCF) has sent an open letter to the Chair of the new Social Care Taskforce which aims to raise key issues that are affecting the sector.
The letter, signed by Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum states that an 'absolute priority' for the Taskforce should be the issue of funding, to support providers through the costs they are facing as a result of COVID-19.
Whilst accepting that local authorities have had a difficult time, having to balance different priorities across different sectors, the NCF letter suggests that the 5% annual uplift and 10% COVID-19-specific uplift recommended by the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services are not sufficient - and are not reaching providers on the front lines.
The Social Care Taskforce was set up by Government to advise on plans for the sector over the next year, as well as to oversee the implementation of government guidance. It is chaired by David Pearson CBE, who has previously held key roles in the adult social care sector.
In the The National Care Forum letter, addressed to David, points out that the various interpretations of the guidance around distributing the money provided by Government has lead to some local authorities insisting on criteria that is not part of Government's conditions for the funds. Vic says, 'This is no way to respond to a crisis. We need to see national and local leadership that cuts through the red tape and that puts aside the history and focuses on what needs to happen now to keep people safe...
'It is vital that the Taskforce looks urgently at obtaining this funding, and ensuring a responsive crisis appropriate system for distributing funds to make sure that providers of all types of services can have confidence that what they hear said at the Downing Street podium becomes swiftly a reality.'
The full letter is available on the NCF website.