Charities, unions, and other organisations have accused the British Government of ‘betrayal’ after it was announced that social care workforce funding in England is to be halved from £500 million to £250 million. This promise to ‘transform the way we support the social care workforce’ was part of the December 2021 People at the Heart of Care White Paper.
Helen Whately, Social Care minister, said that the package of reforms focuses on recognising care with the status it deserves, while also focusing on better use of technology, the power of data, and extra funding.
Despite this, considerable pushback has arisen as people in the sector have accused the Government of neglect and broken promises. Mike Padgham of the Independent Care Group particularly stressed the huge impact of this sudden cut in funding, saying “We need every penny of funding and cannot afford to have £250 million removed at a stroke like this”.
Health think tanks The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust have also criticised the announcement, with the latter describing it as ‘effectively yet another ill-judged raid on a social care system already on the brink’.
Unions have also argued against the announcement, such as the GMB calling for ‘proper investment’, while Unison has stated they feel that it is ‘proof that the Government has nothing but disregard’ for the sector.
The announcement also failed to mention previous pledges of £25 million for unpaid carers, and £300 million for the integration of housing into local health and care strategies. Regarding these, the department has insisted that all promised funding will stay within the sector, but failed to to mention when the support for unpaid carers would be set out.
The Government’s decision has left many feeling betrayed, feeling like insufficient measures are being taken to protect the vulnerable.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is a specialised government department in England with the responsibility of protecting and improving the nation’s health and wellbeing, and providing the healthcare services needed by everyone in the country. The current minister responsible for health and social care is Matt Hancock, who has held the position since July 2018.
Helen Whately is the current minister for Care, appointed in February 2020. She is responsible for the Care Quality Commission and the DHSC workforce, as well as overseeing the development of a comprehensive strategy to deliver sustainable improvements in the Care Sector in England. She serves as the Under Secretary of State for the Department Previously, she was the Member of Parliament for Faversham and Mid Kent and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.