UNISON gives evidence on growing social care funding crisis

The crisis in adult social care is set to worsen due to a growing funding gap, UNISON has told the Communities and Local Government Committee

In June the Committee launched an inquiry into the financial sustainability of local authority adult social care and the quality of care provided.

UNISON said the funding shortfall is going to get worse, and the move to allow councils in England to add an extra 2% to annual council tax bills to raise money for adult social care is inadequate.

The union pointed out that councils still face significant shortfalls in their budgets for social care, and that commentators have suggested the tax is not sustainable.

The impact on workers was also highlighted; as well as service users it is care workers who bear the brunt of the lack of certainty around funding as they are pushed into zero hour contracts with more than 300,000 workers on such contracts in England alone.

Many local authorities do not pay care providers enough to deliver appropriate care packages and the vast majority of councils in England are still commissioning 15 minute homecare visits, despite NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines advising against them.