One third of adult social care providers have considered exiting the market in the past 12 months, a report launched at the Care England conference in London today has revealed.
The Sector Pulse Check report, commissioned by national learning disability charity Hft and Care England, illustrates the unique challenges facing the sector across the board: over half of smaller organisations have also considered quitting, the independent research reveals.
Solutions suggested in the report include developing a pay framework to establish a minimum care wage, a professional register for care workers in England, and benefits, terms and conditions aligned with NHS staff, and enhanced support for energy costs, including to remove the 5 per cent VAT surcharge on energy bills.
The report goes on to show how cost pressures, including rising utility bills and pay, have left 82 per cent of providers in deficit or facing decreased profits in 2022.
Just over two in five (42 per cent) of providers closed parts of their organisation or handed back care contracts to local authorities. Some 92 per cent of respondents cited workforce pay as a key pressure. The majority view is that increasing pay would have the most impact on boosting staff numbers, however, eight in ten providers (81 per cent) said that local authority fee increases did not cover the costs of increased pay in 2022.
The foundations for a sustainable future have been set out by Hft and Care England in the report’s recommendations. Despite the difficulties facing many care providers, the organisations describe an unwavering desire to work with Government to harness the sector’s innovation, energy and commitment to ensure those who draw on care and support are empowered to live the lives they choose with dignity and independence.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Now is the time to shift the needle. We require a new vision where success is measured in outcomes, and in terms of the benefit delivered to people and communities more widely. There is an opportunity to lay the foundation for meaningful reform.”
- Care England has also described yesterday’s Spring Budget as another ‘missed opportunity’. It states that despite Autumn Statement funding, the deficit for older person’s residential and nursing home currently stands at around £2bn per annum.