Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care in England, has called for immediate and long-term investment in the adult social care sector ahead of the Government’s planned fiscal statement on 17 November.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“In addition to providing invaluable services to people who draw on care or support, the adult social care sector plays a central, and often overlooked, role in our economy. Without a substantial investment increase in the sector, the Treasury hampers its ability to reprimand ongoing pressures within the NHS. This will not only cause health services to suffer but will also have detrimental knock-on effects on the wider economic health of the nation. The Prime Minister has been clear that the Government will always support the NHS and that the NHS will continue to be prioritised as difficult decisions are taken on spending. Yet, it is not possible to have a healthy NHS without a healthy social care sector. Whilst we recognise and appreciate the financial pressures currently faced within the NHS, addressing those within social care is a prerequisite for a well-functioning health and social care system and must be prioritised by this new Government in the upcoming fiscal statement.”
The planned fiscal statement on 17 November will set out the UK’s medium-term fiscal plan to put public spending on a sustainable footing, reduce Government debt and restore stability.
Care England has written to the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to detail the scale and severity of the issues facing adult social care and set out our key asks for the sector, principally relating to energy, funding, and our invaluable workforce.
Care England has called for the following to be recognised within the forthcoming statement:
• The reforms to adult social care, including the cap on care costs, changes to the social care means test and Fair Cost of Care must not be delayed and the original timeline adhered to.
• Commit to further measures of support for the adult social care sector beyond the 31 March 2023 deadline of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
• The Government must immediately commit to Government funding increases to reprimand the current approximated £7bn funding gap.
• The introduction of a fully funded, ten-year workforce plan akin to that of the NHS, where career progression, pay and rewards are identified.
Martin Green continues:
“The Chancellor understands the scale of the issues facing the adult social care sector following his time as both Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care and as Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee. Now is the time to instigate real change and shift the focus towards a sustainable future for the adult social care sector, which, represents 6% of total employment and contributes in excess of £50bn per annum to the economy in England. The wellbeing of the sector is fundamentally intertwined with the sustainability of the UK economy. As Departmental spending is reviewed amid challenging economic circumstances, with the focus on trying to resolve the problems within the NHS, the social care sector continues to be seemingly overlooked. The adult social care sector is fundamental to national infrastructure, by enabling meaningful lives for thousands of older people and working-age adults with disabilities, and also in supporting both the NHS and the UK economy as a whole.”