Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has expressed concern at the findings of the County Council Network and Newton Report ‘Preparing for Reform.’
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“Whilst we welcome Government ambitions to reform the care sector, we must be insistent that the reforms be financially practicable. Today’s report demonstrates that the Government has significantly underestimated the funding required by a phenomenal amount. The consequence of which is that the sector will face further additional financial pressures, on an already overburdened sector. These reforms will be the straw which breaks the camel’s back without urgent central intervention and funding.”
The key findings of the ‘Preparing for Reform’ report include:
- The cost of the care reforms, including the cap and means-test for over 65s, new ‘Fair Cost of Care’ and administrative overheads in England will cost a minimum of £25.5bn over the next decade, £10bn more than the Government’s own assessment.
- There is a significant regional variation in the costs of implementing the reforms, with councils in county and rural areas being disproportionately impacted.
- An additional 4,300 social work staff will be required to carry out the additional Care Act assessments, reviews, and case management, on top of a current vacancy rate of 1,782, and an additional 700 financial assessment officers will be necessary.
- Councils in county and rural areas could face the biggest financial and workforce challenges.
- To properly fund these reforms, the Government needs to spend half of the Health and Social Care Levy by 2032 on these proposals alone, irrespective of other significant social care pressures in the system.
Martin Green continues:
“Care England continues to work collaboratively with local and national stakeholders to ensure the reform proposals land as well as possible. However, the outcome of this report demonstrates that Care England’s argument that the current funds allocated to social care reform are grossly inadequate is accurate and reflective of the reality of the current situation the care sector is in. The Government must address these findings and commit to providing additional financial resources to see these reforms to fruition to secure a sustainable and financially viable care sector for the future.”