Latest News

ADASS / CSA Joint Statement on Fuel Price Rises

February 2, 2022

Responding to growing concerns about the impact of fuel price rises for older people, disabled people and carers, Cathie Williams, ADASS chief executive, and the co-chairs of the Care and Support Alliance have issued the following joint statement:   

Despite recent announcements about the ending of most Covid restrictions, for many older people, disabled people and their family carers the fear of Covid remains and people will continue to isolate at home, especially amongst those who are clinically vulnerable. The impact upon people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing of spending excessively long periods in isolation has been well documented, but the financial impact has been less well understood.

Many people with care and support needs have already experienced an increase in household energy costs as a result of extended periods of time spent at home. For some, price increases will have been significantly higher as a result of their energy supplier going bust and being moved to a provider of last resort on higher tariffs. We also know that it is harder for some people to navigate the complicated energy market and to shop around for cheaper deals. Yet the price increases experienced so far are relatively low compared to the price hikes everyone will face from April 1st.  

We know that a lot of older and disabled people and their family carers are amongst those in society with the lowest household income and as a result, their energy costs are a significantly higher proportion of the income. These huge prices rises will leave many people, potentially already in poorer health, with the terrible decision of choosing between heating and eating. We are therefore calling for the Government to provide additional financial support to people who need care and support, and their family carers to enable them to heat their homes without having to worry about further reductions to their quality of life.

CSA’s response to the 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review

October 27, 2021

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:

“Today, social care needed a big injection of guaranteed, additional funding for now and the future, but the Chancellor didn’t deliver it. The extra money that was announced for local government was not ring-fenced for social care and will need to be stretched thinly across council services, after a decade of under-funding.”

“The end result is that there is no relief in sight for older and disabled people who require care, and their families and carers, who are having to put up with services under extreme duress – if they can get any help at all.”

“It’s no good the Government promising the possibility of more funding for care in a few years’ time if today’s provision continues to disintegrate and more workers walk away.

“If the Prime Minister’s ambition to ‘fix social care’ is ever to be realised Rishi Sunak has to play his part by providing enough funding to make it happen. He hasn’t done so and therefore, unfortunately, the future of social care remains as uncertain as ever, with the credibility of the Prime Minister’s promise increasingly on the line.”

CSA’s response to the Government’s Health and Social Care NI increase

September 7, 2021

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:

“Our initial assessment is that while the Prime Minister’s announcement doesn’t give us everything we wanted and we are worried about the funding, it is definitely worth having and a once in a generation opportunity to improve social care that must not be allowed to slip away.”   

“At last, there’s some hope for a better future and we all stand to gain, since any of us, at any age, could develop a need for care.” 

“If the Prime Minister’s proposals are put into action he will deserve real credit for breaking a log jam that has held back social care reform for far too long. The intense debate about how to pay for it must not obscure the paramount importance of action being taken now to stabilise and rebuild care, especially after its terrible mauling by COVID-19.” 

“At £86,000 the cap provides some much needed certainty and removes the fear of care bills spiralling to infinity, though at that level it will help fewer people than many had hoped. A more generous means test is arguably the more significant announcement for most and will result in greater numbers receiving at least some financial help. However, there is a lot of devil in the detail which we need to understand before reaching a final judgement. 

“The NHS is being given extra funding upfront and social care desperately needs that too. Unless the Chancellor delivers substantially more investment into councils’ budgets in the autumn Spending Review there’s a real risk that the Prime Minister’s announcement will fall flat.”  

“The proposals are broader than many expected and some of the non-cap elements that will be fleshed out later this year have exciting potential to increase the quality and quantity of care on offer to older and disabled people, and their families caring for them, as well as how joined up it is with the NHS, of great importance to many frail older people in particular. We look forward to hearing more.   

“It’s good to see serious investment in workforce training – though we doubt this will prevent disillusioned staff from continuing to drift away for better paid jobs elsewhere. On the care workforce we wanted the Government to go further and do more to improve terms and conditions.” 

CSA launches new #KeepYourPromiseBoris campaign

July 8, 2021

Today, the Care and Support Alliance launches its new campaign – #KeepYourPromiseBoris.

Over 100 weeks ago, on his first day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to ‘fix social care once and for all.’ But we are still waiting. Millions of people who need decent care are relying on the Prime Minister to keep his promise. Social care was struggling before COVID-19 arrived, but the last fifteen months have made things even worse.

People are being urged to join the campaign and visit www.keepyourpromiseboris.com to write to their MP to make sure the Prime Minister delivers on his promise to ‘fix social care once and for all’ Last month, over 50 charity leaders from across the CSA wrote to the Prime Minister to ask him to fulfil his promise and bring forward proposals on social care reform. 

The CSA recently found that since the start of the pandemic, over 2 million adults in England have had their requests for care turned down. The Prime Minister pledged to fix social care in 2019 and now, as we look ahead to life beyond the pandemic, it’s time for him to deliver on his promise.

The CSA believes that with social care reform, including investing more money and giving care workers the career structure, pay and conditions they deserve, we’d have the strong and effective care system our country needs. Millions of older people and disabled people would also be better able to live decently and independently, and millions of unpaid carers would be supported.

Supporters of the campaign can visit the CSA’s micro-site, which will be live for the six-week duration of the campaign, at www.keepyourpromiseboris.com. The site includes a link to write to your MP if you live in England.

People, including those who live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, can further support the campaign by sharing our tweet here or Facebook post here.

CSA’s response to the Queen’s Speech

May 11, 2021

On 11 May, the Queen’s Speech set out the Government’s agenda for the next session of Parliament.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:

“After an awful lot of dithering the Government has finally nailed its colours to the mast by formally committing to social care reform this year. The question now is how good the Government’s proposals will be, not whether there will be any at all, so this is an important step forward for the millions of older and disabled people and carers who deserve so much better than what’s often on offer to them today.

“Ministers have made it clear that they see a cap on sky high care costs as the centrepiece of their reforms, because it is so evidently unfair for anyone to be financially ruined by long term care bills. However, this is not the only unfairness in how care operates today, and it would be a bizarre outcome if we gave more protection to home owners, while leaving those with fewer assets to the current underfunded system. This would especially disadvantage sick and disabled adults who have just as much right to decent care as older people. So as well as bringing forward some kind of cap, there is no avoiding the need for the Government to invest billions more into care – topping council budgets back up again after having allowed them to fall so disastrously over the last decade.

“The final essential element is the need for the Government to professionalise the care workforce, giving care workers the terms and conditions, and career structure, that should rightfully be theirs’ after their magnificent performance during the pandemic. It’s high time we ended the situation in which care staff are constantly the poor relations of their equivalents in the NHS.”

“If the Government brings forward a package of reforms of scale and ambition, backed up by the funding required, we will be able to hold our heads up high again as a nation, consigning our current, shamefully neglected social care system to the past, where it belongs. If this happens older and disabled people, and their carers, will be able to breathe more easily, confident that they will get the help they know they need.”