Next government must invest £1bn a year to fix catastrophic social care crisis
The next Government must commit to meaningful reform of the social care sector if it wants to secure its long term future, says Sense.
Following Theresa May’s surprise announcement that we would be having a snap general election, all the political parties have jostled for air time, trying to capture the public’s imagination with their key messages.
So far, Brexit has remained top of the agenda.
However, there are vital domestic issues facing the country as well.
Social care has faced years of spiralling demand, while budgets have been cut, to the tune of more that £4.6billion since 2010.
The impact of this has been catastrophic, record numbers of people are finding themselves stuck in hospital awaiting care at home; the number of people living with unmet needs has also increased. While many providers have chosen to walk away from a sector that they deem to be simply unsustainable.
To address the severe financial woes of the sector, we believe the next government should commit to providing the sector with additional funding of £1billion per year up to 2020.
This, we believe, would address the risk of potential market failure, where the sector essentially collapses under the weight of the financial issues it faces.
Money alone is not the solution to the sector’s problems; indeed the sector is in dire need of meaningful reform. This is something the previous government committed to, saying they would publish a very welcome green paper outlining plans later this year. It is vital that all political parties share this commitment.
Sense has previously outlined five key principles for the reform of social care which we believe should inform the future reform of social care. Those principles are:
Financial sustainability must be guaranteed
Social care reform must be holistic and inclusive of working age disabled people
Unmet needs must be addressed, there are currently over 108,000 working age disabled adults who live with unmet care and support needs
Social care commissioners should be supported to design, in co-production with providers and people who use services, outstanding person-centred services
We must continue to work towards fully integrating social care services with the NHS
So, in the run up to the general election, we have been urging all political parties to commit to addressing the mounting issues facing social care, so we can work towards a sector that enshrines high quality, person-centred care for everyone who needs it now and long into the future.
You can read Sense's key manifesto asks here