Care homes warn Chancellor of ‘catastrophic collapse’ over living wage

Social care collapse is ever nearer

Care England says the collapse in social care is getting closer. Outlining the results of a survey into pay, the first of its kind, Care England says it reflects the fragility of the system owing to inadequate and unsustainable fees from local authorities.

Professor Martin Green

Professor Martin Green

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England said: “Care England’s survey makes is clear that providers are expecting higher staffing costs and falling profits whilst demand continues to increase. In order to manage this, providers are anticipating fewer local authority placements while investing in technology and services to respond to demand.

“The sector can and must adapt, but dynamics are shifting and unless local authorities pay the commensurate rate to providers there will be a lack of capacity for local authority funded residents and the ongoing workforce challenges will not be addressed.”

The key findings of the survey are:

  • 96% of providers expected their overall staffing budget to increase this year and all expected further increases over the next three years to keep pace with demand.
  • Only 10% of providers expected profit margins to increase in 2017/18 and this slightly increased to 15% projecting an increase in profit over the next 3 years. Conversely 55% of providers were projecting a fall in profits up to 2020.
  • As a consequence providers were projecting a decrease in the number of local authority placements taken on, with 32% projecting a decrease in placements accepted in 2017/18 which increased to 45% of providers projecting to take on less local authority placements over the next 3 years.

Professor Green added: “Providers are realising the potential of technology in order to streamline their businesses and reduce the demand for staff.”

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