Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:
“Our dominant reaction to today’s Budget announcement is relief, but we are disappointed that the investment in social care wasn’t more and that at £650m (plus £45m for Disabled Facilities Grant), it is somewhere between a third and half of the amount the experts say is needed to fill existing gaps in services.”
“Due to lack of funding, next year was shaping up to be truly perilous for the delivery of social care so it is very good news that this extra money has been found, but at £650m it won’t be enough to plug current gaps, let alone bring back the care homes and home care packages we’ve lost over the last decade or so – all at a time when demand has been rising. Unfortunately, despite this additional money the 1.4 million older people with some level of unmet need for care will have to continue to ‘make do’ and those older and disabled people who are lucky enough to be receiving a service are unlikely to see any improvement in 2019.
“This announcement also continues the pattern whereby year on year, governments allow social care to teeter on the brink, only to bail it out with an emergency hand out – just enough to prevent total national collapse but no more. The problem is that this approach gives neither staff nor providers much encouragement to stay and so they continue to drift away, storing up even greater problems for the future.
“Nothing could better demonstrate the need for a bold and ambitious Social Care Green Paper, fit for meeting the challenge of saving social care for this and future generations, with much also resting on the outcome of next year’s Spending Review. “