Social care leaders have called on the Government to end what they describe as over two decades of ‘inaction’ over the UK’s social care crisis.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and other organisations representing the care sector have joined to urge the Government to make an immediate announcement of extended and increased funding from April to stabilise the care system.
This funding should ensure continued provision of high-quality services and support, meet the continuing costs of COVID-19 and provide relief and respite for exhausted family carers and care workers.
The alliance of care organisations also called on the Government to commit to publication before the summer parliamentary recess of promised proposals to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’, giving MPs the opportunity during the recess to hear from their constituents about the care and support they want.
James Bullion, president of ADASS, said: ‘With little more than two weeks to go until the new financial year, there is still no news of what funding will be available for care and support and for our care workers who have responded so magnificently throughout the coronavirus crisis.
‘We were bitterly disappointed that social care was not mentioned in the chancellor’s budget statement. We are calling on the government to put that right and offer real hope of a way forward for more than 10 million of us who draw on social care or work to provide it.
‘This Government has the chance to end 25 years of indecision over social care and create a historic legacy. We are urging it to seize that chance now.’
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, added: ‘Social care has been on the frontline throughout the pandemic, with every part of the care and support system experiencing intense pressure over the past year.
‘Emergency funding for social care to date has been helpful, but it is essential this is extended beyond the end of this month to prevent any immediate impact on people’s care and health support. We also need a clear plan for the future of adult social care, to address both immediate and short-term pressures, but also how we fund and pay for this vital service in the long-term.
‘We reiterate our call for the Government to urgently bring forward its proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible, to let people live the lives they want to lead.’
Responding to the call, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘We have provided billions of pounds to support adult social care during the pandemic including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, priority vaccinations and additional testing.
‘Funding remains in place to support the tireless efforts of social care staff on the frontline of this pandemic and we are actively reviewing the need for further funding and decisions will be made in due course.
‘Delivering a care system that is fit for the future remains a top priority and we will bring forward proposals for social care later this year.’