Daniel Casson: Social Care Funding

Jewish Care's Daniel Casson (Assistant Director, Business Development) writes about the financial shortfall facing Social Care providers

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Jewish Care's Daniel Casson (Assistant Director, Business Development) writes about the financial shortfall facing Social Care providers

It has been impossible to escape the media coverage surrounding the social care funding crisis.

In many cases funding by local authorities does not cover the actual cost of care people need, leaving organisations such as Jewish Care to subsidise up to 40% of the actual cost of that care. Only our partnership with the Jewish community and with those paying for care, means that we and other organisations can continue to give the level of care our community deserves.

The Government announced on Thursday 15th December that local authorities can increase council tax by up to 6 per cent over two years to raise cash specifically for care services for the elderly. There is consensus that this will not be enough to cover the actual shortfalls in social care and is a sticking plaster solution. The issue requires a unified approach based on collaboration between the state, the health authorities and the providers of care in our communities. Increasingly social care providers have been taking on the roles of “patient” treatment which in former times the NHS would have taken on – that is the reality and the system must be set up to realise that and fund it sufficiently both in the community and in housing with care settings.

A quality social care system would benefit the country greatly in that it would reduce the strain on our health services, and Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, has said that if there is more money available, it should go to social care: this is the only way we will be able to support people with the quality care they deserve.

One of the benchmarks of a civilised society is how we support older people. Jewish Care, as a faith-based organisation, plays a large part in maintaining community as a vital constituent of the support needed. Together with many other organisations in our community we have to subsidise the work of the statutory authorities in order to live up to the ideals of a civilised society. This makes it ever more important that we recognise it’s not all about spending more money; it’s about making what we have go further and putting community partnership at the heart of what we do.