“A sector out of options” – social care providers resort to offering care to fewer people to manage spiralling costs

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The number of social care providers who say they have been forced to cut support for vulnerable adults has doubled in the last 12 months as a direct result of financial pressures, according to a newly published report.

The report, Sector Pulse Check is the Hft’s third annual report and is carried out by independent economics and business consultancy Cebr, and was the first of its kind to focus primarily on learning disability providers. Based on survey analysis from social care providers, it provides an annual snapshot of the financial health of the social care sector over the past year and an indication of how providers anticipate the next twelve months will progress.

Key findings of the report are:

  • 20% of organisations are offering care to fewer individuals as a means of balancing the books (a rise of 8% from 2018), with 95% citing rising wage bills as the main drain on resources.
  • 33% of providers have had to cut staffing levels
  • 45% of have closed down some parts of their organisation and/or handed back contracts as a way of dealing with cost pressures.
  • 43% of providers believe they have witnessed a negative effect on the quality of care they are able to provide (up from 11% last year) citing an increase in complaints, worsening CQC ratings and a decrease in morale as the most severe indicators of a decline in standards.

Billy Davis, Public Affairs and Policy Manager for Hft, said: “As our Sector Pulse report shows, the sad reality is that the social care sector has run out of options. While in the previous report providers were focusing on streamlining through internal efficiency savings, we can now clearly see that cuts are affecting people, not just processes.

“The lack of a sustainable cash injection for the sector has seen providers resorting to offering care to fewer people to manage spiralling costs at a time when demand for social care is widely acknowledged to be growing.”

You can read further reaction from Hft and Cebr about the report’s findings and view the full report on Hft’s website here.


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