The Health and Social Care Committee has released a report, Social Care: Funding and Workforce, which calls for an immediate increase in investment to avoid the risk of market collapse. The Committee has called for a £7bn annual increase in social care funding, adding that this figure would not address the growing problem of unmet need nor improve access to care, with the full cost of adequate funding likely to run to tens of billions of pounds.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“The issue of medium and long-term social care funding has been put off for far too long and cannot wait any longer. We agree it needs at least a 10 year plan if not longer.
“Continued lack of funding for services is having a catastrophic impact on families. Only this week we have highlighted the intolerable pressure on unpaid carers in our Caring Behind Closed Doors: Six Months On report, which shows 81% are providing more care than before the lockdown and three quarters (74%) are exhausted and worn out. Significantly reduced care and support services, coupled with family members with increasing care needs is making life really difficult for carers.
“Caring during the Covid-19 pandemic combined with a chronically underfunded social care system is bringing millions of unpaid carers to their knees. Urgent investment must come as a matter of top priority for the Government.
“We were heartened to read the strong evidence from Minister Shiozaki, the former Health Minister for Japan, about the benefits of the long-term social care system the country introduced in 2000, which has both increased the choice of care services for families and reduced the financial burden on them. He noted the burden on family carers – particularly women - had decreased.”