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

Pay rates of £12.77 an hour needed to fill staff gaps, ADASS says

Directors of adult social care services state that an average starting pay rate of £12.77 per hour is required to minimise local recruitment and retention challenges. This is £3.27 more than the current national living wage rate of £9.50.

In the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Spring Survey 2022 report directors voice concerns about the level of quality and choice in their local care market.  

They say that market instability remains a major concern with 67 per cent of directors reporting that providers in their area had closed, ceased trading, or handed back local authority contracts. This is a significantly worse picture than last year and prior to the pandemic.  

Directors also report increased requests and referrals for care, support and safeguards due to issues relating to mental health, breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements, hospital discharges and problems with admission to hospital.  Services need to cope with increased complexity of need, reablement, crisis response and other intermediate care.

Currently, over 50 per cent of residential reablement services enable people to return home

The report also notes a low overall confidence in social services with only 25 per cent of directors saying that existing concerns are being compounded by unprecedented external cost pressures caused by pay uplifts and recruitment difficulties.

Almost three in 10 directors cite lower than expected occupancy levels as a major driver of costs for residential and nursing care.   

Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) said: “The next 12 months were always going to be challenging given wider unprecedented external cost pressures. We need the new Prime Minister and Cabinet to grasp social care and put our essential services on a sustainable footing.”

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