Responses to CLG Committee report on social care

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee published a report on 31 March stating that the Government needs to urgently review how social care is funded in the long term and address serious threats to social care provision.

The report finds inadequate funding very seriously affects the quantity and quality of adult social care provision, impacting on those receiving care, the NHS, care staff, carers and providers. It also sets out a number of recommendations relating to monitoring of care services, care commissioning, and the care workforce.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, was summoned to give oral evidence to the Committee earlier this year and has supported the its recommendations.

He says: “The committee has done a very thorough investigation and I hope that the Government will give maximum consideration to the recommendations proposed in its forthcoming green paper. 

"The report reflects exactly what our members are telling us; namely that there is a need for adequate funding in order to provide the care packages, training and sustainability of services. The conclusion of this report cannot be disputed; the Government needs to stem the financial crisis in adult social care. The sector is ready and waiting to work with the Government to find a resolution that focuses on outcomes”.

He continues: “We recognise the financial pressures that local authorities are under, but the pursuit of low fees should not be the end goal. We therefore welcome the Committee’s recommendation that CQC should oversee the market shaping, commissioning and procurement activities of councils.

"Expectations from citizens have risen. They experience health and social care as a continuum and the current financial challenges make the delivery of such expectations untenable. Government policy needs to shift to ensure that the system is fit for purpose and provides what citizens need and want. At present the system is too crisis based as opposed to enabling. This in turn disempowers people to manage their own care. Combined with this, the demographic changes mean that the current system is unsustainable. Tax payers are simply not getting value for money”.

David Pearson, honorary treasurer of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), says: “We welcome this report which echoes the entire sector’s call for a long-term solution to providing and paying for social care, the historic underfunding of which is threatening its viability.
 
“The report highlights the worrying consequences of the pressures on adult social care, and makes a compelling case for immediate extra funding.
 
“Social care needs to be treated as a national priority to ensure thousands of elderly and disabled people and their families get the personal and dignified care they deserve.

“Not only are people living longer and with increasingly complex needs, care workforce challenges, including the welcome national living wage and retention of staff, are creating further pressures - the need to future-proof the social care system cannot be ignored.

“The extra £2 billion for social care over the next three years is an important step towards closing the growing gap in government funding – but this is just a short-term measure.”