As a care provider for more than 25 years, I am seriously concerned about the future care of our oldest and most vulnerable residents.
The Care Quality Commission is warning that four out of 10 care homes are not reaching the required standard. The same body told a Sunday newspaper that a third of homecare providers are not achieving proper standards of care either.
Some £4.6bn has been cut from social care budgets in recent years – no surprise that standards are falling.
The biggest provider of care homes, Four Seasons, is facing uncertainty and there are dire warnings that up to 9,000 care homes could close, tipped over the edge by the added costs of next year’s National Living Wage. On top of all of this the Care Quality Commission is proposing a huge hike in the fees care providers have to pay, adding another cost burden.
The government says it has plans to deal with a major provider failure. I would love to know what they are.
The government can avert this doomsday scenario and, for the first time in living memory, properly address the funding of social care in this month’s autumn spending review.
If it doesn’t I hardly dare think of the consequences for anyone growing older in 21st century Britain.
St Cecilia’s Care Services