The president of ADASS has called for Rishi Sunak to take “decisive action” to stabilise care and support this winter in his upcoming Budget and spending review.
Stephen Chandler’s plea follows reports that the Budget will include £6 billion for the NHS to tackle hospital waiting lists.
He argued that this funding, on top of the lion’s share of the funds the NHS will receive from the proposed health and social care levy over the next three years, leaves adult social care looking like the poor relation once again.
“If there is no comparable funding for social care, the health and care system will simply not function,” Chandler warned.
“Already we are hearing reports around the country of people not being able to leave the hospital because there is no care and support available for them in the community. This is just a taste of what lies in store this winter.
“The Chancellor must act, and act decisively, to support social care so that we avoid gridlock in health and care and people are enabled to live the lives we all have a right to expect. Social care was an afterthought at the start of the pandemic, with tragic consequences, and risks being so again.”
ADASS is calling on the Chancellor to take steps to stabilise care by providing an immediate additional £3bn to support care supply and strengthen support at home, meet unmet needs and mitigate the workforce crisis in the care sector. The organisation said half of this funding should go to unpaid carers.
It is also urging the government to implement a new employment deal for care staff, including a workforce strategy, enhanced training, development and career progression and an adult social care minimum wage level with comparable NHS roles at a rate of approximately £11.50 an hour.
And it wants Sunak to guarantee a significant uplift in funding for local councils to enable them to meet fully their duties under the Care Act and the Health and Social Care Bill.
Since 2010, councils have been required to make cumulative savings of more than £8bn, according to the ADASS Spring Survey, published in July.
Chandler said adult social care could not go on with repeated “short-term, 11th-hour cash handouts” and needed certainty of direction and funding.
“Discussions about long-term reform are very welcome but are meaningless without a commitment to long-term funding. Let’s invest now to transform social care, and most importantly people’s lives, for the better,” he added.
The Chancellor will deliver his Budget and spending review on Wednesday (October 27).