It has recently been confirmed by the Chancellor that the Autumn Budget will be delivered on 29th October. As the date looms closer, those in the social care sector have started revealing their hopes for new money to be allocated to the sector, after a disappointing year in 2017.
In a report released today, the VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), representing over 90 leading not-for-profit organisations supporting disabled people, claim the damage to the fragile social care system will only continue if the sector is overlooked once again.
A stitch in time: the case for funding social care describes the growing threat to the nation’s vital care and support services and details the impact of decades of underfunding.
Voluntary and not-for-profit providers predominantly serve publicly-funded clients so are disproportionately affected by adult social care budget cuts. Local authorities’ planned savings for adult social care in 2018/19 are £700m, cumulative adult social care savings since 2010 have amounted to £7bn, and the government has yet again postponed its Green Paper on the long-term funding plan for adult social care.
The report also stresses the knock-on effect on the NHS of a failure to focus on social care as a national priority, reiterating VODG’s longstanding offer to collaborate with government on long-term funding strategies.
A stitch in time: the case for funding social care outlines a series of actions for government, including:
- Identifying a long term and sustainable funding solution for adult social care to cover working age disabled adults and older people.
- Ensuring that where local councils are in serious financial difficulties, such as Northamptonshire, appropriate central government inspection is applied to ensure that statutory duties in relation to social care are actually being fully met in line with the Care Act 2014.
- Instructing HMRC to permanently suspend the retrospective action to recover underpayment of NLW for sleep-in work from employers.
- Build more accessible and adaptable homes and improve the installation of home adaptations.
VODG chief executive Dr Rhidian Hughes said:
‘Social care is a vital public service but is a victim of a triple whammy of squeezed funding, increasing demand and increasing costs. This impacts on disabled people and adversely affects other public sector services such as the NHS. Our ageing and growing population means there’s a growing need for social care for disabled and older people. It’s not too late for government to improve the fragile state of the adult social care system and to safeguard existing and future support for people who rely on care services.’