Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has responded to the Channel 4 programme "Under Lock and Key", screened on Wednesday 1st March at 10.00pm, regarding hospital care for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. Care England understands the importance of giving people the opportunity to live in community settings rather than hospitals and how quality community care can transform lives for the better.
Professor Martin Green OBE Chief Executive for Care England says:
"Community settings will be social care registered services, but we are clear that this is a sector under immense financial strain. In order to meet the demand for personalised care for people with complex learning disabilities in the community, and which allows a safe transfer from hospital settings to be achieved, then we must address urgently the crisis facing social care due to chronic underfunding over many years. Learning disability services are closing at an alarming rate and providers are reluctantly handing back contracts to local authorities. The situation is exacerbated by a lack of funding to meet the rising cost of paying staff for sleep in services at night time to provide essential back up in order to keep people safe."
Peter Kinsey CE CMG and Chair of the Care England Learning Disability Group added:
"We support the rise in NMW and NLW for our staff, who provide such skilled and dedicated care to people, but unless the increased costs from the rises in the minimum wage are met by our local authority and health commissioners, then the future sustainability of social care services for people with learning disabilities is threatened and hospital care will continue to be the only option for some people."
"On top of this the uncertainty as to how sleep ins are to be categorised and how the HMRC approaches past custom and practice in this respect is yet another huge risk for providers and the services upon which people with learning disabilities rely."
Care England wants to see the upcoming budget put social care funding on a proper safe footing and ensure that providers continue to provide and develop services in the community for people with learning disabilities.