Issues facing care providers cannot be ignored

The Independent Care Group says a frightening list of the major concerns facing social care providers cannot be ignored if people are to continue getting the care they need.

The ICG has welcomed a new report on the current social care market which reveals that care providers are most concerned about the workforce, energy prices, inflation and return on operation/capital investment.

The ICG has praised the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) for creating a report that lays bare the challenges facing the sector.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said this latest evidence of a sector facing frightening challenges could not be ignored.

“We see time and time again evidence that the social care sector is in crisis and facing very real existential challenges that place the delivery of care to many thousands of older and vulnerable people in jeopardy,” he said.

“Here, the CPA very plainly and clearly shows that the level of staff vacancies, the struggle to recruit staff and the rocketing costs of energy, food and insurance, amongst other issues, are creating a very difficult playing field upon which to deliver good, sustainable care.

“The Government cannot ignore these issues and hope they will go away.”

The evidence provided by the CPA is to go to local councils for them to consider as they finalise their Market Sustainability Plans.

“It is an excellent report by the CPA but makes very difficult reading. It does however give local councils vital ammunition to go to the Government and say, in realistic terms, what they need to deliver social care in the current economic climate,” Mr Padgham added.

After surveying providers, the CPA found, amongst other things, that staff vacancies are up 52%; that 60% of providers are having to increase carer pay in addition to their annual pay uplift, due to the cost-of-living crisis and that recruitment costs are up 127% in the last 2 years.

It found that even after the introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and the introduction of a cap, energy prices for providers are 3-4 times what they were 12 months ago.

Food inflation is over 15% of total costs currently for care home providers and insurance premiums can be 400% higher than pre-pandemic levels.