The National Care Forum (NCF) is calling on the Government to move away from short term emergency care funding and commit to a longer-term and co-designed funded strategy, with greater focus on community and prevention services.
Having submitted representation to the Treasury, the NCF working with the Care Provider Alliance which brings together industry bodies from across the sector, has now published an analysis which draws on the Fair Cost of Care Reports published by councils in England.
It shows that, in 2021/22, the government paid at least £2.88 billion less than the actual cost of delivering care to people in their own homes and in care homes for those aged over 65.
This under-funding is only the tip of the iceberg, the NCF said, as the CPA analysis also highlights the impact on services for working age adults and unregulated services.
Vic Rayner, CEO of the NCF, said: “As the Chancellor prepares his spring budget statement, we ask that he ensures there is funding, adjusted for inflation, to meet the three-year pledges in the People at the Heart of Care white paper in full. The government must also commit to a fully funded, 10-year national workforce plan for adult social care which improves pay, terms and conditions for the sector.
“We need to see a move away from short-term emergency funding that is focused on hospital discharge, towards a longer-term and co-designed funded strategy, with greater focus on community and prevention services.
“At a time when energy costs remain a critical issue for many businesses, the Chancellor must create a tailored energy scheme to protect adult social care providers, and those accessing their services, from high energy bills, to bring confidence and stability to the sector. The addition of adult social care to the Energy Bills Discount Scheme Energy and Trade Intensive Industries list, alongside the museums, zoos and libraries already listed, offers an immediate way to help.
“We would also like to see zero rated VAT rather than exemption, particularly for not-for-profit adult social care providers.
“The existing funding shortfall is unsustainable and cannot continue. Care providers are depleting their reserves, relying on charitable income and are having to increase self-funder fees to subsidise the state and are unable to expand their care and support services to meet rising demand from people across the country.
“It is imperative that the government delivers and ringfences funding for adult social care providers that is realistic to the actual cost of delivering that care. Social care is, of course, a significant partner to the NHS, playing a vital role in supporting people to leave hospital safely as well as helping to reduce the need for crisis access to medical care and treatment by helping people to remain safe and supported to live well at home.”