Adult Social Care In England
HC 518, Sixth Report of Session 2014-15 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating to the Report
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The Government's agenda to change and improve adult social care, most notably through the Care Act, is rightly ambitious; however, according to the report 'Adult Social Care In England (HC 518)' it simply does not know whether the care system has the capacity to become more efficient and spend less, while continuing to absorb the increasing need for care.
Despite the growth in the number of those reliant on adult social care, there has been an 8% real terms cut in spending. Local authorities have cut costs, partly by paying lower fees to providers, which has led to very low pay for care workers, low skill levels within the workforce, and inevitably poorer levels of service for users.
The number of recorded safeguarding referrals rose 13% in the two years from 2011. Up to 220,000 people working in the care system earn less than the minimum wage and around one third of the workforce are on zero-hours contracts. At the same time 2.2 million people have had to give up work to care for family members, at extra cost to the Government through the benefits bill.
The Care Act introduces new burdens on local authorities and requires unprecedented levels of coordinated working between central and local government, and across local authorities and health bodies. The Departments should quantify the new burdens the Care Act will introduce for local authorities, and establish a realistic timetable for implementation given the financial constraints.
There needs to be an acknowledgement of the limits on the sector's capacity to absorb the growing need for care with falling public funding.
|Format||Paperback||Published||10 Jul 2014|
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