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Social care ‘left out in the cold’ in spending review

Social care has been ‘left out in the cold’ after yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review outlined the funding the sector would receive in 2021-22, says Care England.

Rishi Sunak announced yesterday that local authorities will have access to £1 billion of spending through a £300 million social care grant and will have the ability to levy a three per cent adult social care precept.

This funding will be split between adult and children’s care services and comes in addition to the £1 billion social care grant announced last year which is being maintained.

The government hopes that this additional funding will support local authorities to maintain care services and address Covid-19 pressures.

Care England has welcomed the pay rise for nurses and hopes that this will extend to independent sector nurses.

However, they, and many other social care associations, have expressed their disappointment in the funding allocated to social care in the Chancellor’s Spending Review.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England said: “Unfortunately on previous occasions when the Government gave huge amounts of money to local authorities it did not reach the front line so we have grave concerns about the delivery mechanism”.

And, for others, the government’s lack of consideration for recommendations made by the Health and Social Care Committee is concerning.

“The promised additional £1bn funding through local authorities falls short of the £7bn recommended by the Health and Social Care Committee and the £6bn forecasted from our own research in May 2020,” said Kathy Roberts, chair of the Care Provider Alliance.

Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum added: “The funding outlined in the review is completely and wholly inadequate  – it can only lead to reductions in the provision of care. The government should be very aware that it’s decision to ignore all the advice around minimum funding from the care sector, think tanks, Health and Social Care Select Committee and local government, is a fundamental step backwards.

“The Chancellor’s statement must not be the end of this – we urgently demand the government to strengthen their commitment to provide adequate funding both for the short-term spending review period and to urgently address reform.”

By Bethany Hemsley

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