A no-deal Brexit could put vulnerable adults at risk and lead to the failure of multiple adult social care providers and local authorities, according to a leaked document put together by the Department of Health and Social Care.
The document, seen by the Guardian, had been prepared for a meeting, held yesterday, on EU exit delivery.
It warns that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, vulnerable adults could be placed at risk “due to wider impacts of EU Exit and/or when statutory adult social care services are not delivered – for example food disruption”.
Adult social care providers are also at risk of failure, the document warns, due to “declining profitability, either due to workforce disruption or poaching by other sectors; disruption to the supply of drugs, disposables and the supply of equipment; the declining pound or costs increasing; and the reduction in local authority spend”.
The failure of care providers could in turn lead to local authority failure, the report suggests, because they would have to hand back contracts to councils, having a dramatic impact on their fees and costs.
The stark warnings come after the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said in a letter sent to the London Evening Standard that Brexit will make it harder to care for elderly people at home.
It warned that given the number of people working in social care that come from the EU, it is likely that the sector will “struggle to cope” unless there is an “absolute guarantee” from the government that EU nationals can continue to work in the UK, without disruption.
“Our valued and dedicated workforce, which includes care workers, activities co-ordinators, personal care assistants and occupational therapists, perform essential everyday tasks to help look after our elderly and vulnerable population. This includes helping people to wash, dress and feed themselves, plus other basic care, which they simply could not do otherwise,” ADASS president Glen Garrod told the newspaper.