‘Shake up funding to head off crisis’

The care sector will be hit by a crisis unless there is a radical
review of funding, the King’s Fund warned last week.

Speaking at the launch of Unfinished Business, which
reviews the progress made in the care sector since last June, the
report’s author, Janice Robinson, said government initiatives, such
as the £300m for building capacity and the 6 per cent rise set
out in chancellor Gordon Brown’s budget, were short-term measures
made in response to other issues.

“The government has reacted to problems in the hospital sector,”
she said. “The connection has been made that we need to invest in
social care to ease problems in hospital care. These are admirable
short-term fixes to introduce greater stability but there are
underlying capacity problems.”

The report recommends a “radical review” of funding, and efforts to
tackle the low pay and status associated with work in the

Robinson added that the General Social Care Council did not intend
to introduce interim registration for care workers while the
register was still being established, and highlighted that the risk
of abuse would be higher with the increased use of direct

Rodney Brooke, chairperson of the GSCC, added that even if 5,000
care workers were registered each month the size of the workforce
would mean that the process would take 20 years. “We don’t want the
register next April to collapse,” he said.

 Unfinished Business is available from website

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