The coronavirus crisis has made “extremely fragile” care markets even more susceptible to market failure, at the detriment to people accessing care and support services, directors of adult social care services in England have warned.
A report by ADASS has revealed that prior to the pandemic, directors reported seeing a downward trend in the number of care providers that have closed, ceased trading or handed back contracts, compared to previous years.
However, since the onset of the crisis, directors are now more concerned about the financial sustainability of care providers.
In the past six months, 43% of local authorities reported that providers in their area had closed, ceased trading or handed back contracts. The number reporting closures has decreased from 75% of councils in 2019 and 66% in 2018, while the number seeing contract hand backs has remained constant.
Three quarters of directors responding to the survey last month said they are concerned about the financial sustainability of some of their home care providers, a figure that remains unchanged since before the pandemic.
However, 15% of directors now have concerns about the financial sustainability of most of their home and community care providers, up from 3% prior to the onset of COVID-19.
Furthermore, nearly every director (96%) highlighted the need for additional funding to help them, their staff and providers manage the local response to the pandemic.