In welcoming the gesture by government to provide Councils with the flexibility to increase Council Taxes for the next three years, National Care Association urges some caution as we do not believe this can be the whole solution to what is now a critical national challenge.
Predictions and warning of the escalating crisis from professionals and commentators have gone unheard and we now face the challenge of rebuilding the social care sector not only through additional funding but clarity of the purpose of the service.
The traditional social care model now encompasses tasks originally undertaken by NHS professionals in long stay geriatric facilities. The reality remains that NHS tasks are now carried out by social care provision, commissioned through Local Authorities without having the available resources.
Narda Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of National Care Association comments:
“We are heartened to note that the issues are now sitting firmly in Number 10, we can only anticipate that further options will be considered going forward.
‘The "Care Crash" as forewarned by the National Care Association is now a reality recognised too late by a government who has enlisted a strategic policy of under-investment. The independent care home sector cannot survive when local authority and clinical commissioning groups are reducing the funding per resident by 8% on average, while providers endure a 7% increase in wage bills alone, year on year.
‘Quick fix’ measures of the kind proposed fail to take account of those local authorities whose residents are most in need of care services, many of them exempt from paying council tax or qualifying for tax relief. Sadly, these proposals cannot begin to approach a solution to an endemic problem that threatens a care home sector already under threat from further austerity cuts.
'Central government must embark upon more viable public/private integration of care services through realistic, ring-fenced, sector-sustaining funding.”