Dear Prime Minister,
Our organisations all submitted representations to HM Treasury to inform the forthcoming spending review. We all highlighted the fact that the care system is in crisis, with £4.6 billion in funding already taken out of the system whilst care needs are rising.
The urgency of the need to address this underfunding is clear and mounting. The impact on the NHS is also significant, as highlighted by Simon Stevens in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
Since we made our submissions, just ten weeks ago, yet more evidence has come to light of the continued impact and risks of serious failure:
- The CQC report The State of health and adult social care in England 2014/15. This showed that 41% of care providers were rated as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’. The report cited cuts to local authority budgets as one of the factors placing adult social care under pressure and creating issues around the sustainability of provision.
- A new report from the LGIU, Care and Continuity: Contingency planning for provider failure found that 77% of councils had experienced some kind of provider failure in the past year. This included 63% of councils having at least one failure in residential care, 48% in domiciliary care; 5% had a provider failure in specialist care.
- The latest Kings Fund Quarterly Monitoring Report. This found that nearly 90% of NHS trust finance directors think that financial pressures on local authorities are adversely affecting health care services in their local area.
- Delayed Transfer of Care, NHS Organisations, England. The latest statistics on delayed transfers of care further underline this impact on the NHS. In the 12 months to August 2015 the number of delayed days from delays in social care rose by 25% and the number of those days attributable to lack of home care provision rose by 50%.
- A new report from JRF, The costs and benefits of paying all the lowest-paid care home workers in the UK the Living Wage. This found that to make the National Living Wage a reality in care homes, funds would be needed from central government. “The core of the problem is that the social care sector is underfunded, and improvements at the margins will not eradicate the problem.”
In the light of this mounting evidence we urge you to ensure the spending review addresses this crisis. Failure to do so runs the risk of this Government presiding over a serious collapse of services vital to the most vulnerable older and disabled people and their carers.
Vicky McDermott, CSA
Ray James, ADASS
Rhidian Hughes, VODG
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK
Heléna Herklots, Carers UK
Bridget Warr, UKHCA
Kathy Roberts, MHPF
Janet Morrison, Independent Age
Martin Green, Care England
Frank Ursell, Care Providers Alliance
Lisa Lenton, Association for Real Change (England)