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Response to Autumn Statement

Mears dismayed Chancellor overlooks social care crisisIn response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, Mears Executive Director Alan Long said:Mears Group is dismayed that the Chancellor did not address the crisis in social care in his Autumn Statement today.We – along with many other care providers and care sector experts – have long warned that social care is in crisis and desperately needs a long-term, well-funded plan to help support some of the UK’s most vulnerable people.We have received widespread attention for handing back a number of homecare contracts to local authorities, when new council contracts would have resulted in either breaching the national living wage for our care workers or not delivering the service needed.We are not alone in this – a survey of 129 of the 152 directors of adult social services in England revealed that in the last six months homecare contracts have been handed back in more than half of areas.1Last month, the Care Quality Commission warned in its State of Care report that adult social care is approaching a tipping point.2Furthermore, research by The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation found that the current social care system is “increasingly struggling to meet the needs of older people, their families and carers, and the human and financial costs of this are mounting. The publicly funded social care system faces the prospect of a £1.9 billion funding gap next year.”3Today the Chancellor has ignored these stark warnings, leaving the social care sector – and those vulnerable people for which we care – with an uncertain future.Sources1 Directors of adult social services at Care Quality Commission3 King’s Fund


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