Comms must continue to play a major role in the battle to tackle funding shortfall
Posted by: Alistair Clay | 15.12.15

It’s fair to say that the social care sector was left rather dismayed by the Chancellor’s Spending Review last month.

There was consensus from the industry that neither the additional two per cent council tax levy, or the extra £1.5bn for the Better Care Fund, would be sufficient to ease the funding crisis that threatens to destabilise the sector.

For some reason the message doesn’t seem to be getting through to Government that the future of some providers is in jeopardy.

A perfect storm is just around the corner as the introduction of the National Living Wage meets ever decreasing local authority fees and the demands of both an ageing population, and one with more demand for complex adult social care services.

The implications, not only for the social care sector, but also the wider healthcare system, would be catastrophic if the former fails.

Providers are not crying wolf; this is not scaremongering – the future without a real solution looks bleak for many.

Set against a backdrop of swingeing cuts and a Government determined to balance the books it could be argued that social care has to take its fair share of the pain. That’s easier said than done when you’re talking about some of society’s most vulnerable individuals.

Industry bodies, the LGA and many providers of older people’s care and specialist adult social care have been lobbying hard to make the case for more funding, but as is the way with politics will things only change after a catastrophe? One certainly hopes not.

It’s up to all of us in the sector to communicate the vital and life-changing work that social care providers deliver to care for some of our most vulnerable people.

We must tell the stories of success, but also repeatedly sound the warning bell, so the Government is in no doubt that something must change.

The solution to this crisis will come from additional funding, and from our politicians listening to people with vision and a deep understanding of the complexities of the sector.

Communicating this position has never been more important.