On 9 March 2023 the National Care Forum (“NCF”) submitted representations to the Government urging it to ring-fence funding for adult social care. This is following analysis conducted by NCF working alongside the Care Provider Alliance. The analysis included reviewing the Fair Cost of Care Reports published by various councils in England. The analysis showed that in 2021/22 the Government paid at least £2.88 billion less than the actual cost of delivering care to people in their own homes and in care homes for those aged 65 or older.
What is ring-fence funding and why is it necessary?
Ring-fence funding is essentially a guarantee that funds allocated for a particular purpose will not be spent on anything else. NCF lead the calls for ring-fence funding, the aim of which is to reduce the current funding shortfall which has been labelled unsustainable. Currently, some care providers across the UK are depleting their reserves. Care providers are addressing this by increasing private paying service user fees, however, this is effectively subsidising the state who are paying a cheaper rate for care for state funded service users. Ring-fence funding would also empower adult social care providers to expand their care and support services, which is crucially needed to meet continued rising demand from people across the UK.
What has been said?
Professor Vic Rayner CEO of the NCF said:
“As the Chancellor prepares his spring budget statement, we ask that he ensures there is funding, adjusted for inflation, to meet the 3-year pledges in the People at the Heart of Care white paper in full. The government must also commit to a fully funded, 10-year national workforce plan for adult social care which improves pay, terms and conditions for the sector. We need to see a move away from short-term emergency funding that is focused on hospital discharge, towards a longer-term and co-designed funded strategy, with greater focus on community and prevention services.”