Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement today, Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum – the leading association for not for profit care providers said:
“This has been a long time coming – and it is a giant leap forward to get the parliamentary focus on social care, and importantly what it can deliver for each and every citizen. The litmus test for this announcement is the difference it will make to people’s lives.
“Bringing more money into the health and care system is crucial – the balance of how that money is apportioned is the thorn in the side. Social care needs significant additional funding now and the initial apportionment falls well short of the additional £7bn funding requirements determined by the Health and Care Select Committee amongst others and we believe the government needs to redress that balance urgently.
“However, it is positive to hear the Prime Minister acknowledge the interconnectedness of success between health, care and communities. A truly integrated approach to health and care, with social care as an equal partner in that system will necessarily put people and their needs at the centre, and the balance between the NHS saving lives and Social Care changing lives will need to be determined at ICS level to support independent, thriving citizens.
“The dial has finally shifted and at long last the cards are on the table – and for the not for profit social care sector, the brilliant workforce and people receiving care and support – we have to believe there is everything to play for.
“Today’s announcement, for all the interest they will garner, do nothing to address the immediate crisis impacting on social care, especially enormous workforce challenges facing the sector. In a recent survey, NCF members provided detailed data outlining what is happening on the ground; colleagues are reporting high levels of vacancies, permanent staff exits at previously unseen levels with most leaving to join health services, retail and hospitality.
“The current situation facing the social care workforce is like nothing seen before. The social care workforce has gone from zero to hero and back again, whilst only doing their job. They have been clapped and cheered, worked 24/7 throughout each and every day of the pandemic, and have experienced very high levels of stress and burnout.
“For many in social care, while commitments today recognise the need to invest in the social care workforce in the longer term, social care needs urgent action now to support the social care workforce that forms an essential part of the social care system.”