Care provider warns green paper delay will see more providers fail

Alan Long

Mears Care – one of the largest providers of domiciliary care in the UK - has warned that the continued delay in a social care green paper will see more care providers fail. 

Mears has issued the warning following Age UK’s announcement that more than 50,000 older people have now died waiting for care during the 700 days since the Government first said it would publish a green paper on social care funding.  

Originally set for publication in March 2018 and now delayed until later this year, the social care green paper is needed urgently. Last year Mears was forced to hand back council care contracts due to unsustainable funding which saw contracts awarded which did not pay for care workers to travel between service users. 

Mears Executive Director Alan Long commented:

“The Age UK report highlights the real human impact of a delay in setting out a proper funding model for social care. As one of the largest providers of domiciliary care in the UK, Mears has seen many other providers fail and we expect that there will be more.

We welcome Age UK’s timely reminder and the whole sector needs Government to understand the impact of this policy vacuum. If we had given even 1% of the time spent discussing Brexit on trying to reach a solution to the social care crisis, we might have one by now.

Whilst Government has increased spending in real terms which has allowed council charge rates to increase, this is a sticking plaster approach which does not allow for providers to offer a sustainable service.

Mears Care is fortunate that we are part of a wider group providing housing and care which places us in a unique position to sustain our care provision but with every provider failure we see the market is exposed to less choice and in some areas no provision whatsoever.”

Mears Care calls for:

• A social care green paper which places social care on a sustainable funding basis    
• A funding model which allows for care workers to be paid properly and truly valued    
• Real integration of health and social care    
• A cross-government approach to social care including housing and health
 

Published: February 7th 2019