Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not for profit care providers responds to the Public Accounts Committee report on the Adult Social Care Markets published today:
“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) share the ambitions of the NCF in relation to the urgent need for long term planning around the funding and workforce for social care. The Committee recognise the impact of funding cuts and how that results in authorities paying below the cost of care. This is not sustainable and the medium term response to date has involved short term sticking plasters which have done enough to steady the ship, but not to stop the water rising. The timing of the Report is very pertinent, as it recognises the intense financial pressure that providers face, and the need for the government to lay out the vital support needed to comply with government guidance in a manner that will enable care providers to plan and prepare for the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 presents to those running care services.
“The Report brings to the fore the very real challenges of cross subsidy arrangements within care, determining that those who pay for their care often do so at a price that is much higher than that which any local authority will pay. However, the Committee does not go far enough in terms of calling out the inequity of that cross subsidy arrangement, and they should be arguing for a fair price for care – one where everyone pays the same – whether they have their care paid for by the local authority or they pay themselves. NCF have called for this in our Reform Agenda, as we agree with the Committee that the costs of care should be transparent, but at the same time, they must be paid for. It is absolutely not acceptable for any government or local authority to countenance the position outlined by the Committee where it states that ‘most local authorities pay providers below the cost of care’.
“Furthermore, the Public Accounts Committee calls for a long term workforce plan. Investment in the social care workforce is essential to address issues around pay, professionalisation, skills and competences, and will also support key challenges for the sector around recruitment, retention and turnover. We agree with the Committee that a concerted commitment to social care reform must be laid before parliament as a matter of urgency if we are to make the vital changes that are so urgently needed.”
NCF also responds to the ADASS report published today. Rayner continues:
“It is noted that Directors of social services are seeing at the frontline the very real challenges that communities face in accessing a social care system that is desperately in need of meaningful reform. Their report also tells a tale of increasing demand, combined with real concerns about the ability of social care services to deliver the very things that people need in a COVID world. The NCF supports the call by the new ADASS president, Stephen Chandler, for a long term 10-year plan for social care.”
Note to Editors:
- The National Care Forum brings together over 130 of the UK’s leading social care organisations, representing large numbers of care providers, offering thousands of services across the country, which are not for profit and always at the heart of community provision. Collectively, these organisations deliver more than £2 billion of social care support to more than 167,000 people in 9,200 settings. The NCF membership body collectively employs more than 95,500 colleagues.
- More information is available on the National Care Forum at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk. @NCFCareForum @vicrayner @NCF_Liz
- Vic Rayner is the CEO of the NCF and in addition is on the board of Hestia, the Care Workers Charity and the Global Ageing Network
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