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Are social care services close to collapse in the UK?

social care servicesThe UK has one of the most ageing populations in Europe – by 2021 it is estimated that up to 19% of the UK population will be pensioners. With an increasingly elderly demographic background, undoubted stresses and strains are becoming evident in the social care systems the UK operates.

At the same time, the government has introduced swingeing cuts across the welfare system, and social care has been hard hit. Since 2010 councils in England will have lost some 20% of budget since 2010. In terms of figures, some £2.7 billion has been cut, or earmarked for cutting, from social care budgets nationwide. At the same time, councils struggle to cater for a yearly 3% increase in pressure on services.

The landscape of social care provision across the UK is thus set for fundamental change. Critics of government cuts point to controversial developments in social care, such as so-called ’15 minute’ care visits, as examples of how cheapening care is leaving many who require care bereft of proper services. Councils buy in care from outside providers in quarter hourly blocks, leaving a myriad of care tasks to be completed in a shrunken timeframe, despite widespread concern at the efficacy of the practice.

We spoke with Richard Perch of PayMatters, a firm that specialises in providing tax, payroll and umbrella company service advice to contractors in the social care sector to get his thoughts on the crisis in the UK’s social care services. “We work with recruitment partners who provide social care services across the board and cuts to budgets is the number one discussion point, without doubt. Further government cuts are planned, and it seems the situation could worsen, but we are yet to understand fully how funding reductions affect services.”

Richard continued “For example, could funding reductions in local authority social care lead to ‘bed-blocking’, as more elderly and vulnerable people are kept in hospital and not returned home, as they more readily would be under different circumstances? Consultation and discussion between central, and local government, and the public, is key to getting a grip on service provision in the face of declining funding.”

PayMatters are APSCo accredited, professional passport approved and are business partners with the Institute Of Recruiters (IOR). PayMatters pride themselves on being fully HMRC compliant from an employers and employees NI, PAYE and expense perspective. For further information please contact Richard Perch, Senior Business Development Manager on 01625 546 671, richard.perch@paymatters.co.uk

PayMatters