Published in The Telegraph, 17th March 2016.

SIR – The Government missed its chance to address the chronic underfunding of social care in the autumn spending review, causing more people to miss out on the support they need and risking the collapse of care homes and home-care companies, as councils cannot afford to pay the full market rate for services.

Today, more than a million vulnerable disabled and older people lose out on basic support, such as help with washing and feeding themselves.

Despite the opportunity for councils to raise funds through the social care council tax precept, there will be at least a £1.4 billion gap in social care funding from this April and a £1.6 billion gap next year, even if councils introduce the maximum 2 per cent precept. This is on top of the real-terms reduction in adult social care of 7 per cent between 2010-11 and 2014-15.

The Government has promised a further £1.5 billion of support through the Better Care Fund, but this won’t be fully realised until 2019-20. Money is needed for social care now, or providers will leave the sector, increasing the demands on hospitals.

The Government must bring forward £700 million of the allocated future funding to 2016-17 to stave off the real risk of service failures in the next two years.

Vicky McDermott
Chairman, Care and Support Alliance
Ray James
President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Frank Ursell
Chairman, Care Providers Alliance