The fact that millions of vulnerable disabled and older people will lose out on basic social care support, which would offer them a dignity and levels of independence, obviously does not keep our elected politicians up at night. The fact of the matter is that we are starting from a point of shortfalls in the current level of fees of about 7% to 8% coming through from the previous five years and we are now looking at a further £1.4 billion gap in social care funding from April this year which will increase to £1.6 billion next year.
A survey of our members in the past week has come up with some alarming figures which indicate that 94% of respondents are concerned about the viability of their businesses in the current climate and if they were able to 72.22% of respondents would exit the market! The survey highlighted the fact that increases being offered to providers to range from 1% to 2.5% on average with some notable exception in the homecare market where assessed needs were sighted as a reason for larger increases. It is interesting to note that high levels of dementia support do not attract any such attention in care home settings!
Nadra Ahmed OBE Chairman of National Care Association said "we are deeply disappointed that, despite consistent warning from health professionals, local authorities and the provider sector the politicians have chosen to ignore the call to seek some resolution to the funding gaps in social care provision. It is not good enough to promise money through Better Care Funding in the future when the crisis is happening now. For many providers this will be too late, if indeed it comes through at all to social care providers. The stark figures from a recent survey by National Care Association of our members indicates that the destabilisation in the market is only a heartbeat away.
Government is very keen to be seen to be supportive of vulnerable people appointing envoys and champions but their commitment is hollow as they ignore the crisis before their eyes.
The only people who care about the most vulnerable members of our society are the carers who support them every day despite the odds. The informal and formal carers who don’t sleep at night because they are committed to ensuring that the dignity and safety of those in need of care and support is maintained. The only thing that can support the NHS to come through their crisis is a strong and vibrant social care solution which could provide integrated solutions once again the point has been missed by those who don’t care"