The National Care Forum has responded to the publication of the National Audit Office’s report on Reforming Social Care in England.
Vic Rayner, CEO of the NCF, which is the leading association for not-for-profit social care, said: “The National Audit Office has hit the nail on the head and highlighted that the government's reform agenda is not the dynamic ‘fix’ the electorate was promised. The report confirms what many already knew – the majority of the reforms have been reprioritised with 58 per cent of the £1.7bn system reform money being reallocated and the entirety of the £3.6bn charging reforms being delayed until after a general election. Even after these reprioritisations, there has been desperately limited progress in other areas. The NAO report shows that funding to integrate and improve housing was scrapped, while funding for workforce measures was halved and progress on the workforce pathway and training, learning and development offer apparently delayed, possibly until 2024. The report also lays bare the flaws of the fair cost of care exercises and contrary to evidence from our members, reveals that DHSC thinks that the exercises overstate the gap between what the state pays and the actual cost of providing care.
“The report comes hot on the tail of Skills for Care analysis on workforce shortages, CQC exposure of care inequities, and CMO report on the risks of poor outcomes for an ageing society. In the face of this cumulative evidence, it is desperately disappointing to hear this independent analysis of how limited progress has been.
“As we approach a general election, all political parties must recognise the value of good social care and support to our society and economy. The National Care Forum has a number of 'must haves' for the next government which we want to see appear in the party manifestos and which would push us in a more positive direction.”