Adult social care spending in England is £600m lower per year compared to a decade ago, new research has found.
The TUC has revealed that adult social care spending per head is 8% below the level in 2010 for England overall.
Its analysis shows that a quarter of social care staff have a zero-hours contract, and the sector has around 120,000 unfilled vacancies.
The report – Fixing social care: better quality services and jobs – calls for a new funding settlement in this year’s spending review, immediate funding to fill all social care vacancies, and social care to become a universal service free at the point of use.
TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady said: ‘Now it’s time to fix the broken system. Social care is badly underfunded. Pay and conditions for care workers are dreadful. And families can’t be sure of high-quality, affordable care when a family member needs it.
’As we face mass unemployment, ministers should act to unlock the 120,000 existing social care vacancies right now. And they should put investment in social care at the heart of our national recovery plan.’
Unite assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail, said: 'There can be no justification for continued underfunding and the rampant commercialisation of the sector – how can you factor in profit margins for someone’s health and care?
'Boris Johnson and his ministers need to act now and stop kicking this issue into the long grass – they should swiftly implement the TUC’s recommendations.'