Campaigners calls on chancellor to give social care £7bn

Campaigners have called on chancellor Jeremy Hunt to give an extra £7 billion a year to social care in next week’s Autumn Statement.

In issuing the call, the Independent Care Group (ICG) reminded the chancellor that he himself had said the sector needs an extra £7 billion as a “staring point” while he was chair of the Health and Social Care Committee.

ICG chair Mike Padgham said: “Nobody knows better what is needed for social care than Mr Hunt himself and so we look to him to tackle social care in next  week’s statement.

“He was chair of the committee that said, ‘the gravity of the crisis now facing the social care sector requires a bold response’.

“That was three years ago and we are still waiting. Meanwhile the crisis in the sector deepens, with fewer and fewer people getting care, less and less home care, residential and nursing care available and delayed discharges from hospitals rising once again.

“As a former health secretary and as chair of the committee right up until he became chancellor, it will be hard for Mr Hunt to argue that social care doesn’t need some financial help next week.”

The call came after the Homecare Association said £2 billion a year was needed to address the deficit in home care funding and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) warned that almost 250,000 people were waiting to have their care needs assessed with an extra £900m needed to just to stabilise the sector.

The ICG wants the government to:

•       Ring fence a percentage of GDP to be spent on providing social care to those who already receive it and the 1.6m who can’t get it

•       Create a unified National Care Service, incorporating health and social care

•       Set a National Minimum Wage per hour for care staff on a par with NHS

•       Set up an urgent social care task force to oversee reform

•       Fix ‘fair price for care’ tariffs for things like care beds and home care visits.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are investing up to £700 million over this year and next to make major improvements to the adult social care system. This includes £42.6 million to support innovation in care and increasing the Disabled Facilities Grant by £50 million.

“Additionally, we have made up to £8.1 billion available to help local authorities tackle waiting lists, low fee rates, and workforce pressures, £570 million of which is to improve adult social care provision, in particular by boosting the workforce.”

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