Irene Sobowale, Chief Executive of The Disabilities Trust, lends her voice to a new report analysing social care challenges which coincides with the Spending Review announced yesterday by the Chancellor.

Irene commented that: “The funding outlined by the Chancellor in the Spending Review falls short of what is needed to meet the needs of service users, their families and carers, let alone reform the system. Adult social care is now faced with a funding crisis in the short, medium and long-term, due to the absence of significant, meaningful and sustainable reform.

“The Social Care sector continues to suffer from successive Governments reliance on single-year funding, in an environment of growing demand and unmet need, which has only been heightened by the pandemic. Following yesterday’s spending review we urge this Government to strengthen their commitment to the sector and to be clear on a longer-term funding commitment which supports and empowers strong resilient individuals, families and communities and builds a thriving social care sector.”

Irene amplified her views yesterday in DAC Beachcroft’s Social Care 2020 and beyond report. As a contributor she further added to the debate enabling some of the core issues, demonstrated by the inadequate funding announced by Chancellor, to be highlighted including recognising and rewarding our workforce and the need to push for an increase in a longer term funding model.

Irene added: “I was disappointed by the further short term fix to the funding crisis announced yesterday by the Chancellor. Under the current system social care providers are all too often forced to operate in silos where everyone is trying to prevent financial failure. The amount local authorities are able to pay towards somebody's care and support in all accommodation settings is often less than it costs to provide it and we as a society need to think about the return in this investment Without providers of care we do not have a social care system which will have a knock on effect on all other areas - housing, prisons, the NHS and local authorities.”

“The pandemic has highlighted the challenges we face as a sector especially the fragility of the market and the often disjointed care pathway between the NHS and social care providers. The onset of coronavirus brought about significant and rapid change in hospital discharge which was concerning both in the immediate and longer term. We must use this learning to ensure that health and social care is properly integrated and barriers between services are broken down to meet the needs of our communities.”

You can read the full report here.