County social care spend still below 2010 level say TUC - The Worcester Observer

County social care spend still below 2010 level say TUC

Rob George 4th Sep, 2020 Updated: 4th Sep, 2020   0

ANNUAL adult social care spending in the West Midlands is still £158million lower than in 2010, according to new analysis published by the TUC.

Responsibility for delivering social care sits with local authorities, but the policy and funding framework is set by central government.

Worcestershire fares well in the figures with spending down by only £1million – one per cent – compared to a decade ago. In comparison neighbouring Warwickshire has fallen £18.5milion or 11 per cent during the same period according to the analysis.

For England overall, spending per head of the population on adult social care in 2018/19 was eight per cent below its level in 2010. In the West Midlands it was 13 per cent below the level in 2010.

Within the West Midlands, the biggest reductions in spending per head in 2018/19 relative to 2010/11 can be found in Walsall where spending has fallen by a quarter, Wolverhampton with a drop of 22 per cent while Coventry, Birmingham and Sandwell have all seen falls of 18 per cent.

In his first speech as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ but has still not set out any plans.

In their report, the TUC sets out why the UK does not have a high quality social care system and how to improve it for those who use it, and those who work in it.

Among the calls being made by the TUC is for a new funding settlement to offset the cuts of the previous decade and establish future rises at a level to allow local authorities to meet rising demand and improve pay and conditions for staff.

All social care workers must get a sector minimum wage of at least £10 per hour, according to the TUC who have also demanded an end to zero-hours contracts.

Longer-term, the TUC has called for the government to make social care a universal service, paid for through tax to ensure high quality social care can be quickly accessed by everyone who needs it.

TUC regional secretary Lee Barron said: “When communities in the West Midlands needed them, our social care workers stepped up. Care workers looked after older and disabled people in the midst of a pandemic, often without the right PPE, and often for low wages and no sick pay.

“Now it’s time to fix the broken system. Social care is badly underfunded. Pay and conditions for care workers are dreadful.

“And families can’t be sure of high-quality, affordable care when a family member needs it,” he added.


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