There has been widespread anger and disappointment among care industry leaders that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, offered nothing to help cash strapped social care in the Autumn Statement.
Care England expressed its disappointment, with chief executive Martin Green saying: “Yet again the Chancellor has ignored social care. In doing so the Government needs to be prepared for the detrimental impact on families, local economies and the NHS. Social care needs to be a priority, indeed in some regions it is a huge employer and stability is crucial for those in receipt of care and those in its employment.
“Unfortunately the lack of investment in social care spells disaster in the NHS and potentially a perpetual winter”.
Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The Treasury has missed a golden opportunity to ease the strain on the NHS. While the Government is right to review long-term spending plans, social care services are in crisis right now.
“Our staff delivering services on the frontline this winter will find it extraordinary that the Government has turned a blind eye to the stresses and strains being felt in the health and social care system.
“Relying on a political rhetoric that promises to protect the NHS, but fails to acknowledge that a cut in social care results in a cost to the NHS, is an economic deception.”
Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity said: “The new Chancellor announced more money for physical infrastructure and support for business. Yet he failed to give any relief for the ‘social infrastructure’ that millions rely on – our health, care and support services.
“Nor did he help those care employers increasingly forced to desert the state-funded care sector due to lack of funding. The longer we ignore the problem, the worse it will get. No additional funding has been forthcoming and consequently hundreds of thousands of frail and elderly will continue to suffer as care services are cut back and fall into decline.”
The Independent Care Group said the Government had betrayed millions of vulnerable older people by failing to address the social care crisis.
Chair, Mike Padgham said: “Today’s Autumn Statement completely ignored the loud and irresistible pleas of care providers, charities and politicians to address the crisis in social care which is robbing vulnerable adults of the care they need.
“This decision will mean more care home closures, fewer hours of homecare delivered and misery for people who deserve better. This is a missed opportunity and with social care and the NHS both at breaking point, it will be one that will have huge repercussions for the future.
“The call for action was louder and greater than ever before and was coming from all corners and yet it has fallen on deaf ears again. How do we get change? Do we have to stand as MPs to get social care’s case heard?”
Mr Padgham added: “We currently have four factors creating a perfect storm – ever increasing demand for more and more complex care; greater and greater scrutiny of that care; tighter and tighter budgets to work in and rapidly rising costs – including the rising National Living Wage.
“We have a sector in crisis: more and more people going without care, care homes and domiciliary care agencies folding or on the brink, and greater and greater pressure on the NHS.”
The chief executive of Carers UK, Heléna Herklots said: “It is deeply disappointing that the Autumn Statement has failed to provide even a mention of the crisis facing social care, let alone any measures to support those who are going without the vital support they need day in, day out.
“In ignoring the social care crisis the Chancellor not only risks pushing carers to breaking point as they struggle without the support they need to care but jeopardising his own productivity agenda as more and more people are forced to reduce their hours or leave work altogether to provide care for loved ones.”