Care provided by charities 'at risk of being pulled back', report warns

Charities face being unable to deliver social care properly unless the government provides greater funding for the sector at the forthcoming Budget, according to a new report by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

The report, called Securing the Future of Social Care, says growth in demand for social care services coupled with £7bn in cuts to funding since 2010 have left the sector on the brink of crisis.

“Without adequate public funding or a long-term sustainable funding plan, the care and support provided by voluntary sector organisations to disabled adults of all ages is increasingly at risk of being pulled back,” the report says.

“Successive governments have failed to bring forward long-term funding plans for adult social care. This government has an opportunity to change that.”

The report says fees paid by local authorities to social care providers are increasingly not covering costs, with the average fees paid still 13 per cent below the UK Home Care Association’s recommended hourly rate. 

This leaves a funding gap of £1.3bn a year, which the report says is being covered by the public paying for their own care.

But many charities are unable to use these assets from the public to cover funding shortfalls, the report adds.

The VODG report also warns that there is a big shortfall of and a large turnover in staff in the sector because of low pay.

The report calls for the government to promise to provide new money to cover up to six years of back pay that could be owed by charities to sleep-in care workers in the event of a Supreme Court ruling going against the charity sector.

The legal battle over status of sleep-in care workers, who often stay overnight with vulnerable people in case of emergencies, reached the Supreme Court last month, with it having to decide whether the workers should get minimum wage for the entire time they are available to provide care.

The Budget will take place tomorrow.

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