Social Care Crisis – TUC Report
Bristol Older People’s Forum (BOPF) has long campaigned for the Government to come forward with a sustainable long-term funding strategy for adult Social Care. Sadly and inexcusably, this has not happened so far, despite the pandemic exposing the inequalities affecting older people receiving care in the community and in Care Homes.
The TUC have recently published a report entitled: Fixing Social Care: Better Quality Services and Jobs. This demonstrates that rather than expenditure increasing on Social Care, as is needed, many local authorities are spending less as a result of austerity and other factors. As far as the South-West is concerned, 8 out of 16 Councils are spending less per capita on adult Social Care than in 2010. In one case, the spending has fallen by almost a quarter.
The TUC report also found that nationally almost a quarter of Social Care staff had zero hours contracts, most staff were paid less than £10 per hour, there were almost 120,000 unfilled vacancies, and there was an annual turnover rate of more than 30%. The report recommends, amongst other things, a new funding settlement, fair pay and conditions for all Care workers, the filling of vacancies, and the establishment of a National Social Care Forum.
BOPF calls on the Council, local MPs and on other public, voluntary and private sector organisations, to strongly and forcefully continue to lobby the Government for a fair long-term funding settlement for Social Care – one that genuinely values older people by giving them the support they need, and one that recognises the importance of Care workers to the community, by giving them a decent salary and conditions of service.