ICG warns care providers may collapse without more funding


Trade body Independent Care Group (ICG) has warned social care providers may go bust in the coming weeks unless the UK government steps up funding for local authorities to tackle Covid-19.
The government announced an extra £1.6bn in March and a further £1.6bn this month to help local authorities support social care.
ICG however said Whitehall must heed Local Government Association warnings that the extra £3.2bn may not be sufficient.
“We are told the £3.2bn pledged so far is nowhere near enough to support local authorities to a point where they can in turn help social care providers during coronavirus,” said ICG chairman Mike Padgham (pictured).
“At the same time, that money is simply not getting to the front line as some local authorities pass it on to providers whilst others don’t. Across the country, it is patchy to say the least,” he added.
Padgham warned there is a “very real danger” that social care businesses will fail in the coming weeks
“Care providers have been suffering financial hardship for many years due to chronic under-funding,” he said.
“Now they are facing huge increases in costs, for instance the costs of bringing in agency staff to cover for staff who are unwell, sick pay costs and the increasing cost of protective equipment. Due to stopping admissions, some care homes are also seeing a dramatic reduction in income and homecare providers are suffering a reduction in contracts.”
ICG called on the government to treat social care the same at it has treated the NHS because all are working together to conquer Covid-19.
“For example, NHS debts have been wiped by the Government; can we not see similar support for social care?,” said Padgham.
“We have written to the Chancellor asking him to make social care zero-rated for VAT, which would help providers to invest in care. For example, social care providers are currently paying VAT for PPE whilst NHS and local authority providers don’t. We need that anomaly to be ended so we are all treated the same,” he added.