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NCA: The care industry is sick and needs urgent attention
National Care Association leader Nadra Ahmed, OBE issues a stark warning to Cameron’s government, now 100 days in power.
Mrs Ahmed, reacting to the “chronic underfunding” and financial pressures of the care sector, has issued a stark warning to David Cameron’s Conservative government, now 100 days in power. As care demand increases, she claims a crisis is unavoidable unless public funding is clearly ring-fenced for the sick and frail.
“More and more people will be unable to access and receive the care they need and this will put further pressure on NHS hospitals,” warned the NCA chair, “Which will result in result in further unnecessary use of expensive hospital accommodation at a much greater cost to the public purse.”
The warning comes in the wake of projected cuts to adult social care budgets, with an estimated deficit of 100,000 care beds by 2020.
The Resolution Foundation think-tank puts the UK-wide extra costs to the public purse at £1.3bn by 2020 – on top of another £1bn already pencilled-in for increases to the national minimum wage. This has prompted the NCA to announce a ‘Day of Action’ on Friday, 18 September.
The UK government “Needs to face up to the scale of the problem”, says Mrs Ahmed, “The problem is much bigger” than policy makers will admit.
The NCA state that social care is an integral contributor to the sustained stability of our NHS, yet July’s Budget imposed further costs of £1bn plus on a fragile sector, dealing with rising costs and client dependency levels. This at a time when, the NCA says, the funding gap in adult social care is widening by £700m annually.
Social care contributes to economic growth of the country as well as meeting social needs, and with the majority of care provided by small and medium sized businesses, contributes circa £43billion to the UK economy and supports 1.5 million full time jobs.
Alan Rosenbach, former strategy lead at the CQC, speaking on behalf of QCS commented: “The care system is vital to the well-being and health of millions of people and their families in our country. It remains the case that we continue to allow those of our citizens who are most vulnerable to be cared for by those who are the poorest paid and least well trained. The Government has ring-fenced funding for the NHS but failed to recognise that without a fair settlement for the cost of care the system will fail those who are most in need.”
“We believe that we are now at a crossroads,” concludes Mrs Ahmed, “We have to decide as a society if we are happy to support decision-makers who, if they choose to ignore the plight of the sector as it stands, will be remembered as the people who abandoned a generation of elders in their time of need.”
How will the changes in living wage policy and projected cuts affect you? Do you think your businsess can survive in this time of potential crisis?