Laura Sharman 20 March 2017

Care firms cancelling council contracts due to lack of money

Care firms have ended contracts with 95 councils, warning they are unable to deliver services on the amount they are being paid, a new investigation has revealed.

The research by BBC Panorama found 69 home care companies have closed in the last three months, with one in four at risk of insolvency.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned the care provider market was ‘on the brink of collapse’ due to the historic underfunding of adult social care and an ageing population.

‘These figures show the enormous strain providers are under, and emphasises the urgent need for a long-term, sustainable solution to the social care funding crisis,’ said Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

Cllr Seccombe also warned that the £2bn of new money from Government will still leave a shortfall in the projected social care funding gap.

She said: ‘There is already an expectation that the money will reduce the immediate pressure on the NHS. But it is desperately needed to protect vital support services, like home care, ensuring older people and those with mental health conditions, learning and physical disabilities live dignified and fulfilling lives.

‘The overall funding pressures facing councils will also mean they will need to make further cutbacks to vital services this year, including social care.’

Paul Dossett, head of local government at Grant Thornton, added: The Government needs to look beyond simple monetary issues and take a broader, more comprehensive look at the care sector. There needs to be long term structural reform which will invest in providers and people who deliver these services, including those EU nationals that make up such a large proportion of the workforce, otherwise our care system will continue to be underfunded, undervalued and understaffed.'

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