A group of peers has written to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and urged him to put social care on a more sustainable footing.
The letter was sent by the House of Lords economic affairs committee after Mr Sunak was questioned by the cross-party group last week.
During his appearance, the chancellor was asked about the problems faced by the social care sector and he said that the absence of a consensus over funding is a significant barrier to reform, along with its expense.
But the letter from committee chair, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, warns the current funding model for social care is ‘unfair’.
‘People receive healthcare free at the point of use but are expected to make a substantial personal contribution towards their social care,’ the letter states.
‘Furthermore, the funding shortfall means local authorities are paying care providers a far lower rate for local authority-funded care recipients than self-funded care recipients, and those care providers with a high proportion of local authority-funded care recipients are struggling to survive.’
The committee published a report in 2019 – Social care funding: time to end a national scandal – which made a number of recommendations.
These include introducing free personal care, which would include help with washing, dressing or cooking, which the Lords concluded would reduce demand for residential care.
‘The urgent and tragic circumstances affecting the sector have magnified the differences between the NHS and social care,’ the letter states.
‘Moreover, they demonstrate that there can be no justification for any more delay to putting social care on a sustainable footing; both for those who rely on it and for those who serve it.’
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