“The unequal impact of COVID-19 on people using and working in social care needs to be addressed as part of future reforms, as well as building on the importance of closer working and local approaches."
Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s annual State of Care report, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Social care was already facing severe financial and demand pressures prior to the pandemic, which have since been exacerbated further, as this report highlights.
“Despite this, it should be recognised that service quality still improved slightly prior to the outbreak.
“The unequal impact of COVID-19 on people using and working in social care needs to be addressed as part of future reforms, as well as building on the importance of closer working and local approaches.
“Social care deserves parity of esteem with the NHS, with the pandemic highlighting the incredibly valuable role of social care in its own right. In particular, action is needed urgently on the care workforce including on pay, professionalisation, skills and training.
“The upcoming Spending Review must urgently provide councils with the extra funding they need to help shore up social care ahead of winter and get through the second wave of COVID-19, while also using this as the basis for future reform of social care to place it on a long-term, sustainable footing.”
Notes to editors
Councils in England face a funding gap of more than £5 billion by 2024 to maintain services at current levels - this figure could double amid the huge economic and societal uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LGA’s detailed submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review sets out how £10 billion is needed to not only plug this gap but meet growing demand pressures and improve services for communities.