Care leaders have called on the Chancellor to include a rescue for the struggling care sector in the Autumn Budget on Monday.
The Independent Care Group said the country desperately needed measures to help the 1.4m people who are currently without the care they need.
Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “Social care is at crisis point, with more and more people not getting the care they need and 90,000 care job vacancies on any one day. The Budget gives the Government the opportunity to take emergency measures to alleviate the hardship currently being felt by almost a million and a half people.
“Investing in social care alleviates the strain on NHS services and gives people the care they need – it also supports a sector that is vital to the economy and which has to grow in the future to meet rising demand. If, as the Prime Minister has claimed, austerity is over, then our oldest and most vulnerable adults should be the first to see the benefit.”
The group said the Government should merge NHS health care and social care into a National Care and Health Service and called for greater social care funding, possibly through taxation and/or National insurance contributions.
It also wants to see a bursary to encourage more nursing staff into the profession and dementia regarded as a health issue and supported like other illnesses.
Steve Sawyer, health and social care expert at leading social care provider Access Group, said an investment in technology was now paramount in order to produce change.
“Previously highlighted as a key issue to address by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, the question now is whether the Government will step up and help providers, or, alternatively, if councils should be leaned on to show preference for those who already have the right systems in place,” Steve said.
“It’s no secret that technology in the care sector reduces operational costs and improves care quality, which in turn eases the burden on the NHS by reducing hospital admissions. The right technology also increases productivity in the sector, which has a positive knock-on effect for capacity levels in the UK’s care system. It’s a blindingly obvious solution – the release button is there, Hammond simply needs to press go.”