Call for action to end 'fragility' of social care system

Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group

Care providers are calling for urgent action to end the ‘fragility’ of the social care system which is leaving people without the care they need.

The Independent Care Group has called on the Government to bring forward its Green Paper on future funding of social care.

Responding to today’s publication of the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report, the Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “The talking has gone on long enough, it is time for some meaningful action to address the crisis in social care.

“Today we have the Government’s own inspection body, the Care Quality Commission, talking about the fragility of the adult social care market and warning that unless a funding solution is found, money being pumped into the NHS will be spent treating people with complex conditions who should have been picked up by social care earlier.

“We need an end to the situation where the care you get depends on where you live and action taken to stem the rising number of people who just aren’t getting care at all.

“The harsh reality is that social care has reached – and in many cases – gone beyond tipping point. 1.4m people are living without the care they need, that’s a 20% rise in two years, to one in seven.”

Mr Padgham said the fact that social care providers were managing to maintain standards was down to their ‘superhuman efforts’.

“It is amazing that where you can get access to care, that care is remaining good quality. That is down to the incredible commitment of those delivering care,” he added.

“But that is not sustainable and it hides the fact that in many areas you cannot get access to care at all because funding for social care has fallen by £7bn in the past eight years. The CQC itself highlights social care providers closing, ceasing to trade or handing back contracts. Enough is enough, something has to be done and done quickly.

“We have seen a dozen social care ministers come and go in the past 20 years and have seen 13 documents (reviews, commissions, consultations and Green and White papers) in the past 17 years promise much but come to nothing. This Green Paper has to be different.”