Government urged to strengthen social care

A new report has argued that the opportunity to shore up the fragile social care system must not be overlooked in the forthcoming autumn budget.

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) examines the growing threat to the nation’s vital care and support services, claiming that, as local authorities’ planned savings for adult social care in 2018/19 are £700 million, Brexit is exacerbating the threat to social care because the likely economic impact may lead to less public funding and potentially create instability in the sector’s labour market.

A stitch in time: the case for funding social care also stresses the knock on affect on the NHS of a failure to focus on social care as a national priority, reiterating VODG’s longstanding offer to collaborate with government on long-term funding strategies.

The report encourages the government to identify a long term and sustainable funding solution for adult social care to cover working age disabled adults and older people and ensure that where local councils are in serious financial difficulties, appropriate central government inspection is applied to ensure that statutory duties in relation to social care are actually being fully met in line with the Care Act 2014.

Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the VODG, said: “Social care is a vital public service but is a victim of a triple whammy of squeezed funding, increasing demand and increasing costs. This impacts on disabled people and adversely affects other public sector services such as the NHS. Our ageing and growing population means there’s a growing need for social care for disabled and older people. It’s not too late for government to improve the fragile state of the adult social care system and to safeguard existing and future support for people who rely on care services.”

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