‘Urgent talks’ needed to avert care funding crisis

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ADASS, NHS Confederation, CPA and CSA have joined forces in a letter urging the Government for crisis talks about funding for the care of older and disabled people.

In a letter to Chancellor George Osborne, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark, four leading agencies involved in the health and social care sector have stated that the Government’s recent Spending Review settlement ‘is not sufficient to resolve the care funding crisis’ and emphasized the need for ‘urgent talks’.

The letter, co-authored by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the NHS Confederation, the Care Providers Alliance (CPA) and the Care and Support Alliance (CSA), states: ‘Ultimately the package put forward for social care will not enable us to fill the current gap in funding, cover additional costs associated with the introduction of the National Living Wage, nor fully meet future growth in demand due to our ageing population.’

It goes on to outline immediate questions which must be discussed, including: What happened to the £6bn which was originally earmarked for the full implementation of the Care Act? What steps can be taken to ensure that the proposed 2% levy per year on council tax in the form of a social care precept delivers the money required to ensure the right levels of social care and does so equitably? What steps can be taken, given the wider spending review settlement for local government, to support councils to address the shortfall?

The letter continues: ‘If we do not collectively address the highlighted issues relating to levels of and phasing of funding there is the potential for significant and adverse impacts, including: an increasing number of older people, disabled people and their carers without any, or without sufficient support to meet their needs.’ It also claims that, without corrective action, there will be ‘an acceleration of the failure of domiciliary, residential and nursing home providers’ and ‘an increasing pressure on the NHS with more people admitted to hospital and more delays to get people home safely.’

It goes on to conclude: ‘As you made clear in your speech to parliament, ‘a civilised and prosperous society like ours should support its most vulnerable and elderly citizens.’ This is a goal that we all share and we are keen to work with you and your colleagues to ensure that this becomes a reality.’