Care leaders ‘disappointed’ as social care left in cold again after Autumn Statement

Care leaders have expressed their disappointment after care for older people was once again overlooked in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

There was no new funding given to the sector by the chancellor despite calls for urgently needed support.

Sam Monaghan, chief executive of MHA, said care for older people had once again been overlooked when it mattered most.

Monaghan said: “The chancellor has missed an opportunity to invest in these essential social care services and better support people’s care needs.

“Social care is simply not being given the funding or attention it needs to meet these ongoing challenges. With a General Election looming, we hope the major political parties use their manifestos as an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a social care sector that is fit for purpose.”  

Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said care providers would struggle to pay the almost 10% increase in the Minimum Wage to £11.44 from April announced by the chancellor without extra funding.

Padgham said: “Unless that increased Minimum Wage is matched by more generous funding for local authorities who can pass that money on to the social care providers they commission care from, the situation is going to get worse. We will see providers who are currently on the brink pushed over the edge by this increased cost. And that will mean a further loss of care provision at a time when we need it most.”

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “While the rise in National Living Wage has an undeniably positive impact on those working within adult social care, due consideration must be lent to care providers who will need to grapple with increased workforce costs again, against a backdrop of local authority funding struggling to keep pace.

“Central government investment has never been more critical, alongside a long-term workforce plan akin to that of the NHS to ensure social care is a desirable sector to join and remain a part of. With more people now expected to return to work, as part of the government’s economic growth plan, there will be new opportunities for our domestic workforce to grow.”  

Suhail Mirza, non-exec director at Newcross Healthcare, former lawyer and care home owner, said: “The absence in the Autumn Statement today of any substantive steps to address the immediate problems of the sector seems to follow this story of silence. Some have called the sector a ‘Cinderella service” for this reason and unlike in fairy tales there at present seems no Prince Charming on any meaningful horizon.”

Kirsty Matthews, chief executive of Hft, said: “Today’s Autumn Statement amounts to yet another disappointing government announcement. This was an invaluable, but missed, opportunity to invest in the beleaguered adult social care sector.

“It’s high time the government places forward a considered, long term funding plan for social care, with metrics to ensure that allocated money makes its way to the front line. Only then will our sector, our invaluable workforce, and those who draw upon our support, be able to plan for a stable and thriving future.”

Max Parmentier, co-founder and chief executive of home healthcare platform Birdie, said: “The chancellor’s Autumn Statement has failed to address the health and social care crisis – despite the rising age of the population, the increasing complexity of healthcare conditions, and long waiting lists caused by staff shortages. In short – the cavalry is not coming, and any real change must now come from within the sector.

The future of healthcare must be patient-centric – focused on prevention and proactive monitoring. Healthcare providers, local communities, families, and individuals must now fill the leadership vacuum left by this government and come together to transform our social care system – it will ‘take a village.

“Countless initiatives already exist across the country where health and social care providers get together to improve care delivery and decrease care delivery costs. We encourage the government to recognise the success of these initiatives and amplify them as a first step towards a more efficient health and social care system.”

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