The pandemic has had a devastating impact on social care and shone a real spotlight on many of the issues it was already facing. Care has long been marginalised and neglected as a central part of our economy. The pandemic has shown just how much social care matters; it matters to the millions of people who need it every day; to the 1.5 million strong workforce who provide it; to the 18,000 organisations providing it and to the country more widely.

The sector is under enormous pressure at the moment, however, it is patently clear that strategic and substantive investment in social care has the potential to transform the lives of individuals, the communities they are part of and the country as a whole.  In 2018, Skills For Care found that the economic benefit of the care sector in England alone was £38.5bn. Social care is very much a local enterprise, providing local employment in local areas, bringing the economic benefit of local wages spent in local shops and businesses, supporting local supply chains and paying local taxes.

How we think about care matters. Social care really does have the power to support our communities and transform lives.

Now is the time to act – we are ambitious for social care – and we need this budget to show just how ambitious the Government and the country are for social care too.

Vic Rayner

Chief Executive of the National Care Forum, the leading member association for not-for-profit social care providers.