Annual adult social care spending in England is still £600m lower than in 2010, according to new analysis published by the TUC.
The analysis by the trade union finds that in 112 of the 150 responsible local authorities, social care spending per head of the population is still below 2010 levels.
According to the TUC, spending per head is 8% below the level in 2010 for England overall.
And it claims regional reductions range from 18% in London, to 5% in the South East, East Midlands and East of England.
In a new report out today – Fixing social care: better quality services and jobs – the TUC also warns that social care in England has insufficient funding to meet demand, which has forced councils to tighten eligibility and people to rely on informal care from family and friends.
The report calls for a new funding settlement and a national Social Care Forum, which will bring together government, unions, employers, commissioners and providers to coordinate the delivery and development of services, including the negotiation of a workforce strategy.
‘When the country needed them, social care workers stepped up. Care workers looked after older and disabled people in the midst of a pandemic, often without the right PPE, and often for low wages and no sick pay,’ said TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady.
‘Now it’s time to fix the broken system. Social care is badly underfunded. Pay and conditions for care workers are dreadful. And families can’t be sure of high-quality, affordable care when a family member needs it.
‘As we face mass unemployment, ministers should act to unlock the 120,000 existing social care vacancies right now. And they should put investment in social care at the heart of our national recovery plan.
‘Social care jobs should be decent jobs on fair pay, at the heart of every community. The TUC’s plan sets out how a full funding settlement for social care would work. Ministers can’t spend another decade hiding from the social care crisis.’
The assistant general secretary of Unison, Christina McAnea added: ‘This TUC analysis shows clearly how spending cuts are having a severe effect in many parts of the UK. That means lower quality services for the vulnerable and poverty wages for hard working care staff.
‘As the union of social care, UNISON is calling for a national service that’s fully funded, values staff and is free for those who need it.’
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