In response to escalating costs and deepening workforce challenges, adult social care providers are calling on the UK government to work with them to establish a sustainable footing for the sector. This plea follows the launch of the Sector Pulse Check report, an independent study commissioned by Care England, the largest representative body for independent adult social care providers, and national learning disability charity Hft.
The report highlights the unique challenges faced by the sector, including the COVID-19 pandemic, cost of living crisis, and decades of underinvestment by the central government. The survey of care providers in England found that 82% are facing deficits or decreases in their surpluses in 2022 due to cost pressures such as sky-high utility bills and unfunded workforce pay. Financial and workforce pressures have led 42% of providers to close parts of their organizations or hand back care contracts to Local Authorities.
The Sector Pulse Check report identifies workforce-related cost pressures, driven by increases in the National Living Wage, as a key concern for providers, with 92% citing workforce pay as a pressure on their organization. Additionally, low wages and better opportunities elsewhere were identified as key drivers of recruitment and retention difficulties, with 95% of respondents agreeing that increasing pay would have the most impact on boosting staff numbers.
These financial and workforce challenges could leave the most vulnerable members of society at risk of not being able to access the support they require, with knock-on impacts for wider society, families, communities, and the NHS. However, Hft and Care England’s report outlines recommendations to establish a more sustainable future.
At HLTH Group, we are dedicated to offering sustainable support for all healthcare providers around governance and compliance with the Care Quality Commission. With our suite of services, covering compliance services, interim management, CQC software, training and more – we hope to support providers in being sustainable and successful.