I spent a lot of last year blogging about the crisis in health and social care. Sorry readers, no New Year resolution, I will continue on the same subject. For new readers, the problem is insufficient capacity in social care to support the growing number of people who want support in their own homes. This shortage has a knock on effect on the NHS – more people go into hospital and a number stay in hospital waiting for services, so they can return home.
The cause of this shortage is two-fold – local authorities, one of the main purchasers of care do not pay enough and keep having their budgets cut by central government. In turn, care providers cannot pay enough to their staff and face a real recruitment crisis.
The response from government is ‘too little, too late.’ Local authorities are allowed to put up council tax by 2% specifically for adult social care, but the cuts in government funds to local government cancels out this potentially good news (not such good news for council tax payers).
Social care will stagger on with the occasional ‘crisis’ headline on quiet news days. The public will only notice the crisis, when they need support at home for a friend or relative.