Care England says social care has been left out in the cold in the chancellor’s comprehensive spending review.
The chancellor said that there would be ‘access’ to £1bn extra for social care, split between adult and children’s social care services, most of which will be raised and allocated locally.
The supporting documents also make reference to additional resources for the Better Care Fund.
However, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, warns that funding allocated to local authorities rarely reaches the front line.
‘In light of the sector’s contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government must support and be responsive to the needs of the sector.
‘Of course, £1bn is welcome, we welcome every penny, but in comparison with the NHS and the challenges that the sector faces, this figure is too little and too late.
‘Unfortunately on previous occasions when the government gave huge amounts of money to Local Authorities it did not reach the front line so we have grave concerns about the delivery mechanism.
‘Care England hopes that the government makes good on its promise to bring forward proposals next year on its commitment to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system.
‘This cannot wait any longer. If we thought 2020 was hard, unfortunately, we have worse to come.’
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said the review is ‘a bitter pill to swallow’.
‘Today the Government passed up the opportunity to play fair with social care, instead granting it insufficient extra money to safeguard the current level of services through next year.
‘Against the context of the pandemic, which is both driving up the level of need, and weakening the finances of providers, this is a decidedly reckless approach.
‘Local authorities are once again being asked to square an impossible circle and this ungenerous settlement does very little to help the NHS either.
‘However, it’s older and disabled people, and their families and carers, who will as ever pay the biggest price, with them more likely to have to manage without the support they need.
‘This is a bitter pill to swallow, especially after everything social care has been through this year.
‘The Spending Review documentation says that the government will bring forward proposals on them longer-term reform of care in 2021, but as a result of the decisions announced today social care will be even weaker by then than it is now.
‘It’s hard not to conclude we’ve gone backwards.’
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