Hft responds to the Comprehensive Spending Review
Kirsty Matthews, CEO of Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities responds to the Chancellor’s announcement on the Comprehensive Spending Review. She said:
“It is disheartening to find social care remains largely absent from the government’s agenda. Far from an ‘age of optimism’ today’s Comprehensive Spending Review does not provide sufficient investment in the future of our sector.
While we welcome the new grant funding for local authorities – amounting to £1.6bn a year for the next three years – questions still remain as to the extent to which it will reach social care providers to ensure the people who need it most will benefit. Disappointingly, it is also not the immediate cash injection required to stabilise the sector, and falls far short of the £3.2bn annual increase called for to account for rising demand for social care.
The confirmed increase to the NLW is, of course, a step in the right direction as it sees our staff paid more for the vital frontline role they play in supporting adults with learning disabilities. However, if the government is serious about making social care a valued career, and to combat the crisis in recruitment and retention, it needs to do more to address low pay within the sector. Without further detail, it is difficult to see how the measures announced today will adequately permit local authorities to commission social care at higher rates to cover the increased NLW, leaving social care providers who are already financially stretched to foot the bill.
This is only set to push the social care sector further towards the precipice. As revealed by Hft’s Sector Pulse research, rising wage bills are the biggest financial pressure faced by care providers, contributing to the 62% who closed down parts of their organisation or handed back contracts last year.
It is disappointing that the Government’s agenda to ‘Build Back Better’ largely excludes social care. It is hard to see how they will achieve their ambition to ‘Level Up’ all areas of society, without investing in a sector employing a 1.5 million strong workforce integral to providing vital support to some of the most vulnerable people in society.”
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk