The National Care Forum has called for an immediate cash injection of £8 billion from the new government to prevent the collapse of Britain’s social care system.
Writing in its manifesto, which has been shaped by NCF members, the organisation said the social care sector needs £8bn this year, and this payment must be made as part of a three-to-five-year settlement to protect the provision of care.
“This will start to address the increased pressures that have built up on local authority budgets to fund care. This money must be protected and reach frontline care today,” the manifesto said.
NCF has repeated a call from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee for the government to spend an extra £8bn on fixing an underfunded social care system in which 1.4 million people aren’t receiving the care they need.
The not-for-profit organisation also outlined a need for a long-term vision for social care to be shaped by those who use it now, and in the future.
“The way social care works now is not fit for future generations. We need a new, coherent, sustainable vision of what care and support in 2030 will look like and how it will be paid for,” the manifesto explained.
The new government must also introduce a fully-funded People Plan for Social Care that complements the NHS People Plan and ensures that the workforce is supported, rewarded and well recognised, NCF said.
Finally, the organisation called for the creation of an ‘innovation transformation fund’ to help social care services develop new models of care for the future, including better use of technology.
Vic Rayner, executive director of NCF, said: “There is a consensus that our current social care system is in urgent need of reform. Whilst we can celebrate the success of increased longevity, this is being undermined by more years lived in poor health and an increasing demand for care amongst people of working age. A 20-year cycle of reports, reviews and independent commissions, not to mention missing green papers, has failed to bring the change we need. This needs to end
“On 13 December, the new government must recognise the importance of social care, the need for an immediate three to five year funding settlement as part of a long-term funding solution and a long-term vision for social care shaped by those who use it now, and in the future.”