Paying for Social Care
Over the last week the news is full of how social care will be funded going forwards. According to the newspapers it will be paid for by adding 1% on National Insurance. This approach has its supporters (a poll suggests the public agrees) and its opponents (part of the Cabinet). Even in social care National Insurance is a cost to employers and employees so the result is likely to be higher care costs to cover National Insurance rises.
As a care provider the most worrying statement is that the money raised for social care which will go initially to the NHS to clear the backlog of operations, which without funds will rise from 5.5 million to 13 million. The point is that despite all the publicity no money is coming to social care, and given the volume of operations it is unclear when it will. This is probably because the NHS is more political, and headline grabbing. The question is what does social care do in the meantime? Companies are already finding it hard to recruit, and rising costs are making care unprofitable for some. In addition, when people have had their operation who will care for them is the social care sector is still underfunded?
The owner of Independent Living (Mark Booker) commented “yet again social care is being put behind health and the NHS. People do not seem to understand that health and social care go together. Good care means less people will get ill, and those who do get ill can recover at home – thereby clearing capacity in hospitals. Using funds to clear operation waiting lists could mean no extra funding in social care for 3-4 years at least.”