A long-term financial settlement for social care must be secured
in order to stave off further crises in the sector, according to a
new report from the think-tank the King’s Fund,
writes Katie Leason.
It recommends a “radical review” to establish the right level of
public funding for care services. This should look at the ageing
population, the effects of raising standards of care, the
relationship between health and social care, and the cost of land,
property and labour.
In addition, the report suggests that the low pay and status
associated with the work needs to be addressed.
“Better pay and conditions must be part of the solution to staff
shortages. It will also be important to re-shape the job of care
workers showing potential staff that it is about supporting people
to lead their lives to the full rather than merely keeping them
clean and well fed.”
The report concludes that urgent action is needed to address the
current problems in the care sector, and that whether a crisis
occurs sooner or later depends on how local authorities and their
NHS partners handle services in the coming months.