Care England has published a detailed report on the state of social care warning of a collapse in the system if providers and commissioners do not work together and more nurses are not recruited into the independent sector.
It states that the next five years will be crucial in ensuring that the care and support services that many people rely on remain sustainable.
Care England’s chief executive, Professor Martin Green, said: “This positive vision attempts to define the contribution that the independent care sector can make to avert a major disaster for the NHS and Exchequer.
“It makes very little sense to have dividing lines separating primary, hospitals and social care when people with long-term conditions – working age or elderly – frequently use all three. Evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes are needed with different elements of the system working together rather than in silos”.
Care England says it is uniquely placed to comment and members have attempted to help local authorities by making efficiency savings in order to accept below inflationary fee rises and fee freezes. Care England says this is now unsustainable.
Increasing instances of Judicial Review and continued provider attrition, says the report, are the only consequences arriving from the current way of working. Neither commissioners nor providers can afford the former, and individuals that are cared for cannot afford the latter.
Martin Green added: “An inability to recruit nurses in the independent care sector is one of the main issues that is causing additional pressure to be placed on the care home, acute sector and commissioning budgets. We are in the process of developing a new hybrid role for nursing in the care home sector which would fall between a care worker and a nurse, but there is still a major supply-side problem, which the government needs to urgently address if the nursing home sector is to survive”.