Social care leaders are urging government ministers to “break their silence” on the future of the sector.
ADASS, together with organisations speaking more than 10 million people who have care and support needs, or are paid or family carers, is calling for clarity about the way forward after the Chancellor said nothing about social care in his recent Budget.
The alliance says that the coronavirus crisis has “laid bare” the fragilities of the social care system in England after “25 years of failure” by successive governments to put it on a sustainable footing.
James Bullion, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “With little more than two weeks to go until the new financial year, there is still no news of what funding will be available for care and support and for our care workers who have responded so magnificently throughout the coronavirus crisis.
“We were bitterly disappointed that social care was not mentioned in the chancellor’s budget statement. We are calling on the government to put that right and offer real hope of a way forward for more than 10 million of us who draw on social care or work to provide it.”
The alliance is calling on the government to make an immediate announcement of extended and increased funding from April to stabilise the care system and ensure continued provision of quality services and support, meet the continuing costs of Covid-19 and provide relief and respite for exhausted family carers and care workers.
It also wants the government to commit to the publication of promised proposals to fix the social care system before the summer parliamentary recess.
Leaders say this will give MPs the opportunity during the recess to hear from their constituents about the care and support they want for themselves and their families.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Emergency funding for social care to date has been helpful, but it is essential this is extended beyond the end of this month to prevent any immediate impact on people’s care and health support. We also need a clear plan for the future of adult social care, to address both immediate and short-term pressures, but also how we fund and pay for this vital service in the long-term.
“We reiterate our call for the Government to urgently bring forward its proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible, to let people live the lives they want to lead.”
Kathy Roberts, chair of the Care Provider Alliance, said: “Emergency funding from the government has been a lifeline to our care and support sector.
“However, as a result of COVID-19 the ongoing cost pressure is leaving many providers, their employees and the people we support balancing on a financial cliff edge.
“Joining with the Alliance we demand that Treasury increase the funding available to the whole care sector so that we can effectively deliver essential services, both now and beyond this pandemic.”
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has also joined the alliance. CEO Kathryn Smith said: “The Government’s promise to fix social care must be fulfilled so that the reform that the sector badly needs is prioritised. Sticking plaster funding is not the answer. A sustained increase in funding is needed now to stabilise the care system, particularly with the impact of Covid-19; we call on the Government to publish its proposals for the future of adult social care before the summer parliamentary recess.”