Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (ICG), says radical action is needed before the 1.4m people currently not getting the care they need grows to even more.
He will tell ICG members meeting at their conference in Harrogate today (Wednesday): “A phrase used recently suggested the Government was in denial about poverty – well I’m sorry to say I think the Government is in denial about social care too. It thinks all is well and that a bit of tinkering here and there will solve the problems.
“They are sleepwalking into a disaster that will have dire and far-reaching consequences, for many years to come.”
He will warn that the difficulties faced by companies like homecare provider Allied Healthcare and many other smaller care providers, would only get worse unless more funding was put into the care of older and vulnerable adults.
He is to write to every single MP in the House of Commons – some 650 members – calling on them to take action to protect those needing care in their constituencies.
The ICG says care providers are fed up of waiting for the long-delayed Government Green Paper on social care funding and want to see action now.
“I have written on numerous occasions to the Prime Minister and to the various care ministers… I can’t think of many of the 12 care ministers over the past 20 years who won’t have heard from me at one time or another. I’ve had very few words of encouragement in reply,” Mr Padgham will tell delegates.
“Now, I’m going to write to every single MP – setting out the true plight of social care in this country and urging them all to wake up to the crisis that is affecting older and vulnerable adults in their constituencies. That’s quite an undertaking but one that I feel is necessary to get across just how perilous the state of social care is at the moment.”
“We have to get our message across, loud and clear or else the crisis will drag on and more and more providers will close and more and more people will go without care.”
The Independent Care Group says the country desperately needs measures to help the 1.4m people who are currently going without the care they need.
Mr Padgham will tell the conference that the solution is not difficult.
“If we put more money into social care it will actually save money for the NHS and, particularly in the case of homecare, keep people out of costly NHS beds,” he will say.
“If we are then able to reward our staff better we will be able to recruit and retain people more easily – driving up standards and tackling the recruitment crisis which is hampering care.
“If we end the stupid VAT anomaly, make care zero-rated, allow providers to recover the tax they pay and enable them to invest in the future.”
The conference, at the Pavilions in Harrogate, will also hear from a line-up of key speakers. These include former Care Services Minister Paul Burstow, now chair of SCIE, Dr Ben Maruthappu, a British physician, academic researcher, health policy specialist and entrepreneur and Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, CEO of Advinia Healthcare, a growing care home operator.
BBC television personality Harry Gration is to chair the conference and The Guardian’s Social Affairs Editor David Brindle and the BBC’s Social Affairs Editor Alison Holt are also amongst the speakers.
The main conference theme is innovation and delegates are due to hear about how new technology, including robotics, will aid the delivery of care, alongside the latest developments in hydration and nutrition, surroundings and wellbeing, health and safety, and person-centred software.