The government urgently needs to inject additional funding into the ‘ravaged’ social care sector, according to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee.
In a new report, the cross-party LUHC says that adult social care needs both an immediate funding injection and a long-term plan. The funding is required now, says the committee, to combat pressures including rising inflation and pressing, unmet care needs.
The government has two months to respond to the report, which says that ‘the adult social care sector does not have enough funding either in the here and now, or in the longer-term’.
The report concludes that:
- On adult social care, the government currently has nothing more than a vision, with no roadmap, no timetable, no milestones, and no measures of success.
- The government should come forward with 10-year plans for how it will achieve its vision outlined in the People at the heart of care white paper and for the adult social care workforce.
- The government should provide a multi-year funding settlement to give local authorities what they need in terms of their own sustainability and their ability to help shape sustainable local care markets.
LUHC Chair Clive Betts said: “As Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said he would fix the crisis in social care once and for all. The government deserves credit for attempting reform and for acting to try to prevent the unpredictable and catastrophic costs which can be inflicted upon people for their care. However, the government should be under no illusions that it has come close to rescuing social care and it needs to be open with the public that there is a long way to go.
“Ultimately, whether it relates to immediate cost pressures or on wider structural issues in the sector, the fundamental problem is that there continues to be a large funding gap in adult social care which needs filling. Those who need care, their loved ones, and care workers deserve better.
“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. Wherever the money comes from - from allocating a higher proportion of levy proceeds to social care, or from central government grants - the government urgently needs to allocate more funding to adult social care in the order of several billions each year.”