Government announced social care funding plans and there’s barley a penny in sight

Stepping into the limelight once again, this week the government unveiled new plans to help support the social care sector by halving the amount of money that will go into assisting the workforce.

Back in December 2021, the government pledged in a white paper on adult social care to invest ‘at least £500m over the next three years to begin to transform the way we support the social care workforce.’ However, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced that only £250m will now be provided.

a person holding a wallet in their hand

The decision has, as you can imagine, caused an uproar amongst charities and the social care workers’ union as they have branded the plan as an ‘insult’ and ‘disgraceful’.

Jackie O’Sullivan, from the learning disability charity, Mencap, said: ‘This plan is an insult to a sector that was once treated as a priority for government.’

Ms Sullivan claimed the reforms promised in the white paper have ‘now been diluted beyond recognition’ for a sector facing a deficit of 165,000 care workers.

However, in attempt to reassure charities and social care workers, Care Minister Helen Whateley said: ‘We are not taking any money away from social care. All the money that is allocated for social care is going into social care.

‘We made a historic commitment to social care at the autumn statement, up to £7.5bn going into social care.’

The DHSC has also remarked that although only £250m is going into the sector at the moment, the full amount previously promised is yet to be allocated as authorities are ‘considering how best to use this funding, including further investment in the workforce.’

Although, despite the DHSC’s efforts to provide reassurance, charities and health organisations are still calling the plan ‘woefully insufficient’.

Charles Tallaback, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: ‘Thousands of people are going without the care they need, and the sector is struggling to recruit and retain enough staff. People working in social care are among the lowest paid in society and more likely to live in poverty than other workers.

‘Particularly disappointing is that the government has watered down its already weak promises on social care workforce reform. The introduction of a ‘workforce pathway’ is no substitute for investment in pay and conditions.

‘Given that the government has already shelved plans to introduce a cap to protect people against catastrophic care costs, [this week’s] announcement is yet another broken promise.’

Alongside failing to fund the workforce, the continuous emergence of new technologies that are eligibly designed to help carers are casting concerns that they could leave people without employment.

Image: Alicia Christin Gerald


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top