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Care providers give cautious welcome to social care funding moves

Care providers have given a cautious welcome to reports that the Government is considering an increase in National Insurance to pay for social care reform.

Representative body the Independent Care Group (ICG) said it was pleased that a solution to the social care funding crisis was edging closer.
But it warned that funding was only half the solution and the staffing crisis was the current biggest issue facing providers.

The report in the Telegraph newspaper is being widely seen as a Government-led ‘temperature check’ of public support for any social care increase. The news was also carried by the BBC.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We wait to see what is actually announced but tackling the crippling cost of social care would be a good place to start. At the same time, this has to be a part of a root and branch overhaul of the system to make it fit for purpose. We need proper, sustainable funding, for dementia to be treated as other serious illnesses are, and funded accordingly, and for a proper pay and reward structure for social care staff.”

Adding further comment, Social Care Institute for Excellence Chief Executive Kathryn Smith, said: “A sustained increase in funding is needed now to stabilise the care system. But…improvements will only come from a long-term strategy.”

Rachel Harrison, national officer of workers’ union GMB, said: “Wherever new investment comes from it must include ring-fenced cash to improve the pay, terms and conditions of carers.”

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