Beyond Brexit: The squeeze on social care

  • Words by ITV News Social Affairs Producer Reshma Rumsey

The social care system already on its knees, and relies heavily on employing a workforce from EU countries.

The numbers of people joining the workforce has fallen and is likely to continue to fall.

Around 130,000 new care workers are needed every year to cope with the current demand and EU migrants play a vital role in providing these services.

If numbers continue to fall it will become more difficult and more expensive to provide these services.

A deepening of the staffing crisis is not the only challenge.

Social care budgets have been slashed amid austerity measures. Credit: ITV News

According to research from the Kings Fund, any future trading relationships could affect the affordability and supply of drugs and other products.

It could also mean a weakening of cross-border co-operation on public health and research and wider economic factors could put even more pressure on funding for social care.

Many charities have also warned that Brexit will pose a major risk to delivering social policy.

Leaving the EU is likely to be mean lower economic growth and in most Brexit scenarios this will mean lower living standards and less money for public services.

With 14m people living in poverty, according to the Joseph Rowntree Trust, that is worrying news .

Not much will change come Feb 1 and the impact might not be immediately felt but it will run deep and it will widespread.

The Government’s much anticipated green paper on social care is yet to be published and at a time when the already fragile system is crying out for major reform and funding, leaving the EU offers little hope in providing that.