Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Councils: Delay social care reforms as sector faces ‘perfect storm’ in next year

County councils in England say long-awaited social care reforms should be delayed due to the sector facing a ‘perfect storm’ of staffing and financial pressures (PA)
County councils in England say long-awaited social care reforms should be delayed due to the sector facing a ‘perfect storm’ of staffing and financial pressures (PA)

County councils in England say long-awaited social care reforms should be delayed due to the sector facing a “perfect storm” of staffing and financial pressures.

Reforms to protect against unsustainable care costs and make more people eligible for state support come into force from October 2023.

They include a more generous means-test and cap on care costs of £86,000 – two policies supported by the County Councils Network (CCN).

But the network, which represents 23 county councils and 13 unitary authorities covering some 25 million people, warns the significant pressure the system is already under means the Government should push back the reforms’ introduction to October 2024 or face worsening the availability and quality of care.

CCN adult social care spokesman Martin Tett said the system is “facing a perfect storm of financial and workforce pressures”.

“These reforms could exacerbate this by extending the eligibility of state support for care costs provided by local authorities,” the councillor added.

“Councils face a mountain of extra assessments that will be impossible to deliver because of current capacity and financial issues in local government.

“Loading these reforms on to a system that is already in crisis could worsen care services by the time these reforms to ‘fix’ social care are introduced.

“Newly eligible people next October could face substantial waits for a care assessment whilst the quality of care for those already provided for could worsen as councils struggle with the extra demand amidst rising costs.

“Councils remain committed to supporting these reforms, but it is imperative councils have the time to mitigate the pressures they will create, recruit a sufficient number of staff and stabilise services in the short term. If not, these reforms could be unworkable at inception.”

It comes after councils last month called on Prime Minister Liz Truss to honour her promise to put billions into social care, with Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng saying the national insurance hike used to pay for the reforms will be reversed from November.

Prime Minister Liz Truss delivers her keynote speech
Liz Truss says her top priority with social care is properly funding it over winter (PA)

The Local Government Association (LGA) said on September 23 that £6 billion is needed immediately to increase care worker pay, meet demographic and inflationary pressures and stabilise the provider market, with the rest needed “urgently”.

Ms Truss has said her “first priority” on social care is properly funding it over the winter because there are “too many” people staying in hospital due to a lack of spaces.

Labour, meanwhile, has pledged to recruit care workers by guaranteeing fair pay, workers’ rights and appropriate training under a National Care Service as it claimed “too many private equity firms are failing” in their duties to residents.