William Eichler 10 March 2020

Social care ‘crisis’ inquiry launched

Social care ‘crisis’ inquiry launched image

A Parliamentary inquiry has been launched to find out what needs to be done to solve the ongoing social care funding and workforce crisis.

The inquiry will seek to establish how much extra money would need to be spent by the Government in each of the next five years to counteract the impact of a shortage of care on the NHS.

It will also consider shortages in the social care workforce and what solutions need to be found to address changes in the years ahead.

Directors of adult social services have saved an estimated £7.7bn since 2010 in response to Government funding cuts. This has put a lot of pressure on a sector which is experiencing an increase in demand from an ageing population.

The lack of funding for social care has also impacted on staffing levels, which are likely to be hit by the introduction of a points-based immigration system.

‘This longstanding crisis comes with a huge cost to families and individuals who can’t get the social care they need. But it affects us all when a lack of availability prevents people leaving hospital, contributing to increased pressure on the NHS,’ said health and social care committee chair, Jeremy Hunt.

‘We’ll be establishing an agreed figure that represents the extra funding that’s needed in each of the next five years in order to fix this. As well extra money, we’ll be examining solutions to tackle staffing shortages in social care that would be responsive to workforce changes.’ 

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The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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