Latest News

CSA responds to Local Government Settlements

February 2, 2024

“Today’s local government settlement owes a lot more to the Grinch than to Santa Claus since across the political spectrum local government leaders are clear that it simply isn’t enough to keep pace with the rising costs of and demand for adults’ and children’s social care. Unfortunately this suggests that 2024/5 will be another incredibly tough year, with hundreds of thousands of disabled adults and older people set to miss out on the high quality support they need, and with serious knock on consequences for their unpaid carers, who will be left to try to fill the gap. This is deeply unfair on people who give a lot and ask for very little in return, and it will also undermine the national effort to increase economic productivity if growing numbers have to give up work in mid-life because of a lack of formal care services to help their loved ones.

“Nearly half a million older and disabled people in England are waiting for care, a direct payment or for their care needs to be assessed. These figures will now get worse, and behind every one of them there are individual stories of our fellow citizens struggling and often failing to live a good and decent life, since without the care they need older people are unable to do the basics like prepare meals and take their medication, or, in the case of many disabled people, work, train and enjoy the company of friends.

“It’s also the last thing the NHS wanted to hear about the coming year, given the co-dependence between Health and Social Care. Unless and until we give social care the resources it needs the NHS will always have one hand tied behind its back in tackling delayed discharges and long waiting lists.” 

Caroline Abrahams, Care and Support Alliance Co-Chair

Charities welcome announcement of social care workforce winter funding, but warn that long term funding and reform remain crucial

July 28, 2023

An alliance of over 60 of England’s leading charities has welcomed the news that previously pledged investment in the sector will support recruitment and retention of staff, but said long-term sustainable funding and reform is still needed to properly address systemic challenges.

The Government said the £600 million funding will support the social care workforce and boost capacity, therefore supporting the NHS ahead of winter and into next year.

The investment includes a £570 million workforce fund over two years, distributed to local authorities, and £30 million funding for local authorities in what the Department of Health and Social Care described as “the most challenged health systems”.

The funding will work alongside the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, the department said, “to build a stronger overall foundation for the health and social care workforce.

The Care and Support Alliance (CSA) have been critical of the Government announcement in April 2023 that workforce training, qualifications and wellbeing would be backed by £250 million, just half of the £500 million originally promised for this purpose in 2021. A promised £300 million to transform housing options was also replaced by £102 million for smaller in-home adaptations.

In response, the Government insisted no funding for the adult social care sector had been removed or reallocated to the NHS and said the remaining £600 million had simply “not yet been allocated”.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK and co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“We welcome that this fund has finally been released ahead of what could be a very tough winter for health and care services, but particularly for older and disabled people who need social care services, as well as their families who often prop things up at huge cost to their own health and wellbeing.  We hope that we’ll start to see some benefit in terms of better outcomes for everyone. 

“But we still need to see the other promised innovation funds delivered that we’re waiting for 20 months on.  

“We’re left with some of the longer-term issues that still need to be resolved if social care is to be fixed.  We need a long-term social care workplan akin to the NHS plan, that delivers the sustainable change that we need in social care and gives local authorities and providers the vision they need to plan and deliver great services.  And we need social care to be funded much better overall, and sustainably, so that local authorities and local services are not hampered by short term funding and are able to plan securely into the future. 

“We all know what a huge difference great social care services make to people’s lives, improving older and disabled people’s lives, boosting jobs, including disabled people’s ability to work, helping local economies, as well as giving unpaid carers the peace of mind and support to be able to stay in paid employment longer.”

CSA warns Rishi Sunak not to backtrack on social care promise four years on

July 24, 2023


On 24th July 2019, the new Conservative Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stood on the steps of Downing Street and pledged to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.

In his first speech as Prime Minister, his successor Rishi Sunak emphasized that the “mandate his party earned in 2019” under the leadership of Boris Johnson was also his mandate and vowed to “deliver on its [manifesto] promise.”

We are concerned that four years later, social care reform has stalled once again, leaving millions of older and disabled people and their families struggling to access the care they need.


U-turns, delays and watering down


  • Charging reforms – including changes to the means test and £86,000 cap on personal care costs – that were due to be implemented from October 2023 have been postponed until October 2025, after the next general election.
  • The new Health and Social Care Levy, which was supposed to help fund social care reform and improve care, has been cancelled.
  • In April 2023, the Government announced that workforce training, qualifications and wellbeing would be backed by £250 million, just half of the £500 million originally promised for this purpose in 2021.
  • A promised £300 million to transform housing options was also replaced by £102 million for smaller in-home adaptations.

The state of social care


The government backsliding on their promise to fix social care is deeply concerning given that more people are asking for support, but fewer are getting it; workforce vacancies are at an all-time high and public satisfaction with social care is at its lowest ever.

  • Requests for care have increased significantly to around 1.98 million.
  • The number of people receiving long-term care has fallen to 818,000 in 2021/22, a 55,000 drop from 2015/16. Older people have been worst affected, with numbers receiving long-term care down to 529,000 in 2021/22– a fall of 23,000 in just one year.
  • According to Skills for Care, there were 152,000 vacant posts in social care in 2022/23 compared to 111,000 in 2019/20 when the social care promise was made – a 37% increase.
  • Based on current trends, the number of social care posts will be required to increase by around 445,000 to around 2.23 million by 2035.
  • Analysis by the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund shows only 14% of the British public are satisfied with social care services.


Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and co-chair of the CSA says:


“Since Boris Johnson pledged to fix social care four years ago we have all been on a wild goose chase as one Government policy after another has been announced with a fanfare, only to be subsequently shelved, diluted or dropped. 

“The transformational change in care provision that older people need to see and that was promised to them is yet to materialise, though with our ageing population it is needed more than ever.

“The Prime Minister stood for office on the 2019 Conservative manifesto and says he wants to abide by it, so rather than backtracking on social care reform he needs to stand by his word and drive forward with it.”


Jackie O’Sullivan, Director of Communication, Advocacy and Activism at Mencap and co-chair of the CSA says:


“Despite the announcement of a long-term workforce plan for the NHS, no such plan is in place for adult social care. There are over 150,000 vacancies in the sector – more than in the NHS – with staff leaving to earn higher wages in other sectors.

“The number of vacancies has risen by 37% since the government promised to fix social care in 2019. It beggars’ belief that the government has halved funding to support the training, skills and wellbeing for the social care workforce.

“Saying that social care is in urgent need of reform is easy, but delivering on their promise has proved to be beyond the Government. Rishi Sunak must show the leadership necessary to address workforce pay, timely access to support and the underfunding of the system for working aged disabled adults and older people, before it’s too late.”


Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK and co-chair of the CSA says:


“It is deeply disappointing that two Prime Ministers’ promises to fix social care “once and for all,” and the reform we desperately need, has not yet been delivered.

“Families are providing more unpaid care than ever before and many are at breaking point as the pressure on them becomes too much. Because of a lack of care, many have no choice but to reduce or give up paid employment entirely, and their health, which is already poorer, is put under even more strain. This is having a devastating impact on their work, finances, health and relationships.

“Care users, families and providers deserve more than empty promises. The government must demonstrate its commitment to older and disabled people, and their families by taking immediate action to tackle the social care crisis.”

Happy Birthday NHS! CSA calls on political leaders to give the NHS the gift of a functioning social care system

June 30, 2023

5th July 2023 is the NHS’ 75th birthday. We can’t imagine life without it – but unfortunately, our NHS is facing increasing pressure from the catastrophic issues facing social care. 

“A crucial part of the ongoing health of the NHS is having a social care system that ensures people get the care they need to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.”

1 in every 10 social care posts are vacant. This means more and more people are struggling to get the right support to stay healthy and independent at home. Some of them end up in hospital, or added to already lengthy NHS waiting lists.  

After treatment, up to 13,000 people who are fit to be discharged are instead stuck in hospital on any given day in England. This is because the care which would allow them to recover at home isn’t in place. 

The lack of affordable, available social care also places huge pressure on unpaid carers. Caring responsibilities leave many feeling exhausted, burnt out, and struggling with their own health.  

The best birthday gift the NHS could receive on its 75th birthday would be social care that truly works for everyone.

We are asking our political leaders to commit to proper funding and reform for the social care system. So, we’re sending them birthday cards from all our members to remind them they can’t keep ignoring social care, and to ask them to finally make an honest commitment to fix it once and for all. 

Read our birthday message below: 


Image of the birthday card CSA has sent. The bottom has all the logos of CSA members.


Card text:

Treating over a million people a day in England, the NHS touches all our lives, and none of us can imagine life without it.

A crucial part of the ongoing health of the NHS is having a social care system that ensures people get the care they need to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.

The best 75th birthday present that the NHS could receive is a commitment from all political parties to reform and properly fund social care.

As our population ages, with more people living longer with multiple, complex conditions, the neglect of social care is becoming increasingly unsustainable and exacerbating the challenges faced by the NHS.

A&E departments are seeing increasing numbers of people admitted because they aren’t receiving the care and support they need to remain independent at home. Once they are in hospital, it becomes increasingly difficult to discharge them because the right care packages aren’t in place. It’s a vicious circle that’s causing significant heartache and distress to service users – and huge difficulties for the NHS too.

A reformed and properly funded social care system would not only be hugely helpful to millions of older and disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care, but would also reduce the pressure on the NHS, so that it can concentrate on tackling record high waiting lists for the benefit of all.

Yours sincerely,

The Care and Support Alliance


CSA’s open letter to the Chancellor: Prioritise social care in your Spring Budget

March 6, 2023

Dear Chancellor, 

Please use your Budget to help those who give and receive social care  

We believe you have the most developed understanding of social care, the benefits good care brings and the huge problems for individuals and their families and carers when it is not available, of anyone who has ever occupied your role as Chancellor of the Exchequer. We sincerely hope you will draw on all that experience and insight and will take decisive action to support social care in your Budget on March 15th. As the co-chairs of an alliance of more than sixty charities that work with older and disabled people, and their unpaid carers, our honest belief is that this extra support is needed from you now more than ever.   

We know you recognise that social care is a long way from being fixed and that a lot has to change to ensure everyone receives decent care, enabling them to live will, now and into the future. The need for a long term plan to transform social care is unarguable, but given what we are seeing this winter we believe there are three more urgent social care priorities you should focus on in your forthcoming Budget. They are firstly to halt the alarming rate of attrition within the workforce; secondly, to do more to support the unpaid carers on whom the entire social care system depends; and thirdly, to help people on low incomes and with modest assets to manage the rising cost of care, so they keep having it.   

We therefore urge you to give consideration to the following measures: 

  1. A richly deserved pay rise for all care workers, not only those working around hospital discharge, to support recruitment and retention. Social care needs to be able to compete with retail and hospitality for staff, and salaries need to be closer to those in the NHS for equivalent jobs. Unless and until action like this is taken we can only see the care workforce continuing to haemorrhage staff, with disastrous consequences for all who need their support.    
  2. A doubling of the funding available for short breaks for carers, so those who are exhausted and at risk of burning out can have a rest, helping them to maintain their health and morale, and sustain their caring arrangements.  
  3. Increase the lower capital limit to £20,000 and the upper capital limit to £100,000 within the social care means test, as proposed in the Government’s 2021 Social Care White Paper. In our view this would allow some disabled and older people to keep receiving the care they need and have to pay for, rather than feeling they have no choice but to give it up or cut it back, because they simply cannot afford it.  

We know you fully appreciate the interdependencies between Health and social care, and the fact that measures like the three we propose would not only be hugely helpful to millions of older and disabled people and unpaid carers, they would also reduce demands on the NHS at a time when it needs to be freed up to concentrate on reducing waiting lists – one of five current Government objectives. It is clear that the NHS cannot succeed for as long as social care is failing. Please use your position to help social care by bringing in the measures we propose, in the best interests of us all.  

Yours sincerely,  

Caroline Abrahams CBE, Charity Director, Age UK 

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK 

Jackie O’Sullivan, Director of Communication, Advocacy and Activism, Mencap 

Care & Support Alliance Co-Chairs