MEDIA RELEASE – 18th June 2020 – Govt must heed stark warning – providers – Need for urgent action to prevent closures
Care providers today urged the Government to heed warnings over care provider closures and take immediate action.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says care and nursing homes and homecare providers could close at a critical time due to increased financial pressures brought on by coronavirus.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Providers have been warning for years now that they are struggling to survive but nobody took any notice.
“Now coronavirus has exposed a social care system that could not withstand such a devastating virus and there will undoubtedly be casualties unless urgent action is taken to get funding support to the front line.”
The ICG’s warning came after the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said increased costs due to Covid-19 had exacerbated the existing crisis in social care.
An ADASS report warns that increased spending due to coronavirus – for example, on personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing costs and sickness cover – means some private care providers may go out of business.
ADASS called for a two-year ring-fenced funding settlement for adult social care as well as reform of the sector, including better pay and conditions for care workers.
Mr Padgham added: “ADASS’s warning makes grim reading but it is something that we have known all along, that the Government financial support so far promised is neither enough nor is it reaching the front line where it is needed.
“Social care was already on its knees after decades of under-funding. Coronavirus could be the hammer blow that finishes some provider at an absolutely critical time, unless urgent action is taken now.”
Local authorities have been given £3.2bn by the government to support all of their extra work during the pandemic, and there is a £600m infection-control fund for care and nursing homes.
However, estimates suggest that care providers will face additional costs of £6.6bn between April and September.
Meanwhile, an annual survey of adult social care directors found only 4% of respondents were confident their budgets would meet their statutory duties this year – down from 35% in 2019-20.
● Social care currently looks after 400,000 people in care and nursing homes – that is three times the number in NHS hospital beds. Social care looks after a further 640,000 people in their own homes.