Social care winter plan

Social care in England needs an extra £7 billion a year as an urgent “starting point” to avoid potential collapse of the market, MPs have said.

A Health and Social Care Committee report said an immediate funding boost is needed to keep existing services going, but this figure would not address growing levels of unmet need, with the full cost likely to run into tens of billions of pounds.

The LGA said cross-party agreement is needed on the future of adult social care, which addresses issues such as unmet need and care staff pay.

The Care Quality Commission has also published its State of Care report for 2019/20, which gives an annual assessment of health and social care in England. It outlines that pre-COVID-19, care was generally good, but with some specific areas of concern such as lack of investment and workforce planning.

The report also highlights that coronavirus has magnified inequalities in health and care systems and that it is critical that such services are designed around people’s needs. The LGA said the unequal impact of COVID-19 on people using and working in social care needs to be addressed as part of future reforms, as well as building on the importance of closer working and local approaches.

In addition, independent charity Skills for Care’s social care workforce report showed there are still about 112,000 job vacancies and very high turnover rates in social care. 

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The Spending Review must provide councils with the extra funding they need to help shore up social care ahead of winter and get through the second wave of COVID-19, while also using this as the basis for future reform of social care to place it on a long-term, sustainable footing.” 


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