Dire warning over future for care providers post no-deal Brexit

Dire warnings over the possible future of social care after a no-deal Brexit must force the government to act now, warn care providers from across the UK.

A recently leaked Cabinet dossier, known as Operation Yellowhammer, reportedly warned that a rise in costs, particularly inflation, could damage the care of older and vulnerable people. It stresses that increased inflation would ramp up staffing and supply costs and may lead to provider failure with smaller providers hit within two to three months and larger providers four to six months after a no-deal Brexit.

The Independent Care Group has consequently said that this worst-case scenario document provides yet more evidence of the urgent need to tackle the social care crisis immediately.

The ICG, which has written to the Prime Minister inviting him to visit social care providers on the frontline at its base in North Yorkshire, says making social care zero rated for VAT would be a good first step to aid providers in dealing with any rising costs. Mike Padgham, chair of the group, supported the call to recall Parliament to deal with Brexit and with social care.

He said: "Social care is already in crisis with 1.4m people living without the care they need and providers failing. This latest document about the time after a no-deal Brexit warns, potentially, of even worse to come. The whole sector needs urgent help, with smaller providers likely to be hit hardest and therefore in greatest need of support. We can no longer wait for the always delayed Green Paper, we have to take steps now to avert what might lay ahead. Social care must be a top priority.

"Altering VAT would be a start and then we have to very quickly get more funding into social care to avert a disaster brought about through fewer and fewer providers being able to cope with increasing demand. This crisis grows deeper by the day and we cannot wait around any longer whilst people live without the care they need.”

The ICG has also said that plans to help people avoid lengthy stays in hospital are wonderful, but will only work if social care is supported too.

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