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Adult social care remained very fragile

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For many years, we have been calling for a better funding settlement for adult social care. Last year, we warned that the continuing lack of a long-term sustainable solution for adult social care was having a damaging impact on the quality and quantity of available care.

Even before the pandemic, we said that the failure to find a consensus for a future funding model continues to drive instability in this sector, and we pointed to an urgent need for Parliament and government to make this a priority.

Previously, the Competition and Markets Authority’s market study into residential and nursing care homes for older people found that the current model of service provision cannot be sustained without additional public funding. Their analysis suggested that about a quarter of care homes had more than 75% of their residents funded by the local authority, and that these are the ones most at risk of going out of business. Many care homes are relying on higher prices charged to self-funders to remain viable, even when providing the same services.

In March 2020, our Market Oversight report highlighted that, in the absence of mitigating action, any further shocks to the labour market would be expected to increase the existing level of market fragility, place more pressure on local authority finances and possibly increase unmet care needs.

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Last updated:
15 October 2020