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Collapse of social care could force more elderly people out of their own homes

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Elderly and vulnerable people could be forced to move out of their own homes into institutional care unless the chancellor invests billions of pounds to shore up social services and reform England’s broken care model, The Independent has been told.

In an exclusive interview ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Budget on Wednesday, James Bullion, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), warned the care system risked “catastrophic failure in some areas” without urgent changes to the way vulnerable people, including younger disabled people, are looked after.

He warned the number of people needing care had doubled in some parts of the country since March, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers are planning to bring forward reforms to social care later this year, but Mr Bullion, who leads social services in Norfolk, said the system needed at least £4bn over the next two years “just to keep the show on the road”.

He warned the sector had been rocked by more than 30,000 deaths in care homes from Covid, with a 40% turnover in staff, higher sickness, and more than 100,000 vacancies on top of rising costs.

“We’ve got social care providers who are very much more fragile and at risk than they were a year ago. We were able to pay premiums to providers to keep going, but we've now reached the point where the revenue consequences of the last year will come home to roost. And we're very worried about the impact on the social care market and whether it will still be there for us in a way that it’s been in the past year if we take that support away.”

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Source: The Independent, 1 March 2021

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