VODG calls for ‘big and bold’ action in 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review
25 October 2021
Ahead of this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on 27 October, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s to be big and bold and deliver a long-term funding settlement for social care that drives forward two key actions.
Through the CSR, the government will set out the government’s spending priorities for the next three years, from 2022-23 to 2024-25.
VODG believes the Chancellor’s CSR and Autumn Budget can choose to invest in people who use services and their support workforce by taking two key actions:
- Act on Health Foundation’s modelling that upwards of £9bn higher than projected spending power for adult social care is required by 2024/25 and thereby commit to a long-term funding settlement that ensures the sustainability of care and support services for disabled people and their families
- Act on analysis by VODG member Community Integrated Care, in partnership with Korn Ferry, that found that social care workers are undervalued by as much as 39% – nearly £7,000 per year – in comparison to their peers in equivalent positions in other publicly funded sectors and commit new money to enable publicly funded services to close this pay gap within the CSR period.
Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG, said:
“The single biggest difference the Chancellor could make to people who draw on social care to live their lives well over the next three years is to strengthen funding. This year’s CSR offers an important opportunity to stabilise, strengthen, and improve social care funding. Without this investment disabled people will have services pulled away, and providers left with a depleted workforce.
“The £162.5m funding to bolster social care recruitment and retention, announced last week, although a positive step to help ease immediate pressures, does not go far enough to mitigate existing workforce challenges. We hear first-hand from VODG members that they are grappling with high turnover rates, rising vacancy rates, and competition from other low pay sectors, and we have already reached the point where charities are not taking on new services in some areas. We could see charitable-run services becoming unviable if we cannot secure the workforce to deliver care – a message that was also picked up on the Care Quality Commission in its State of Care 2020/21 report.
“The State of Care is hanging over the heads of millions of people who rely on essential services to live independent and fulfilling lives. We implore Rishi Sunak to think big and bold and put the interest of people who use care services at heart of funding decisions in this year’s spending review.”
VODG has also lent its support to the #KeepYourPromiseBoris and #SocialCareCantWait campaign, led by the Care and Support Alliance, and the #BetterPay4SocialCare campaign, led by Autism at Kingwood.