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Social care services cannot take another delay to government's green paper

Independent Care Group chair Mike Padgham calls for a ‘backstop’ for services as care homes go out of business

Independent Care Group chair Mike Padgham calls for a ‘backstop’ for services as care homes go out of business

Social Care
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The social care sector in England cannot wait any longer for the government’s green paper, industry leaders say.

Independent Care Group chair Mike Padgham said providers are ‘struggling’ to keep services going.

He said there is a particular problem filling shifts, with 12% of nursing posts being vacant.

Since 2017, ministers have been promising that a green paper will be published after scrapping the Dilnot Commission’s proposal of introducing a cap on costs.

Mr Padgham said that, as the political debate has become dominated by Brexit, the green paper has been delayed four times. He added that this is an ‘appalling’ situation and social care reform needs its own ‘backstop’.

‘Homecare providers and care and nursing homes are struggling with some going out of business. About 1.4 million people are not getting the care they need, a number that is rising every single day.’ he said.

Others have also expressed concern about the delay.

Priorities

Healthwatch England said that social care has been named in the top five priorities for 2019, as voted on by its network of local groups – the third time in a row this has happened.

Meanwhile, Local Government Association Community Wellbeing Board chair Ian Hudspeth said the sector has been propped up by ‘one-off funding injections’ when bold long-term action is needed to plug the predicted £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025.

‘The squeeze on local government funding, coupled with rising demand and increasing cost pressures, is affecting an ever more fragile provider market.’

The Department of Health and Social Care said the green paper would be published at the ‘first opportunity’, but could not give a date.

As well as older adults, it will look at services for younger adults with disabilities. It will cover all aspects of the system, including funding, housing and the quality of care.


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