Social care crisis: new Prime Minister must fix funding delays, report warns

The delays in Government action on social care funding are “a disgrace,” a Yorkshire leader in the sector has said, as a damning Parliamentary report accuses the Tories of having no plans to fix the crisis.

The cross-party Levelling Up Committee, chaired by Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, has told the Government that urgent funding is needed to fix both the recruitment crisis and on the rising costs of care following an inquiry into the sector.

The Long Term Funding Of Adult Social Care report, released today, says Boris Johnson’s Government should “be under no illusions that it has come close to rescuing social care, and needs to be open with the public that there is a long way to go.”

The Government must publish a 10-year plan for the adult social care workforce, the committee has said, as well as demonstrating its vision outlined in a White Paper published last year.

The Long Term Funding Of Adult Social Care report, released today, says Boris Johnson’s Government should “be under no illusions that it has come close to rescuing social care, and needs to be open with the public that there is a long way to go.”

Extra funding for social care should be released by Government this year to off-set inflation, and the committee has demanded that the NHS and social care are not “pitted against eachother.”

But Mike Padgham, the Scarborough based chairman of the Independent Care Group, warned that the report may be left to gather dust.

He said: “It makes me wonder, notwithstanding what an excellent report that it is, if it too will gather dust back on the shelf like many other have over the years.

“Just how many more reports do we need before someone takes decisive and bold action?

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“Previous warnings have fallen on deaf ears in successive governments of all colours. Action this day is needed as social care has not been fixed. Far from it. The constant delays are a disgrace and a national scandal.

“We are seeing care and nursing homes close due to the ongoing funding crisis and homecare providers closing or handing back contracts that are not possible to deliver.

“Unless better funding is provided for social care, this is only going to get worse and worse and that is terrible, tragic news for those needing care.”

Clive Betts told the Yorkshire Post that he had not heard either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak discuss their social care plans in their bid to become the UK’s next Prime Minister.

He said: “They need to start talking about social care. I’ve not heard either of them mention it in the debates - not a single mention.

“If we really have got lots of surplus in the Treasury - they both seem to spending lots of money on tax giveaways - at least direct some of that resourceand some of that money to make sure that older people and people with disabilities get the care they actually need and deserve.”

The Department for Health and Social Care was contacted for comment.

The leader of the new report into adult social care has implored the Government to stop pitting it against the NHS.

Clive Betts, the MP for Sheffield South East, said: “The NHS and adult social care provision should not be pit against one another.

“The two systems are interdependent and each needs to be adequately funded to reduce pressure on the other.”

The report did praise the Government for some of its interventions, including reforms to set the £86,000 spending cap on payments for personal care, and increasing the bandwith for means-tested care.

But it warned that the sector’s funding is lacking in the here and now, and in the longer-term.