Caring charities in Bath 'cannot afford to wait' any longer for funding

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The leaders of two of Bath's biggest social care charities say people cannot wait any longer for the Government to invest in social care.

The CEO's of Age UK Bath & North East Somerset and The Carers Centre have written an open letter to the Chancellor saying "the future of social care is in his hands"

It comes as the head of the Care Quality Commission says more needs to be done to prevent a "tsunami of unmet need" rippling across social care this winter.

In the joint letter, Simon Allen from Age UK B&NES and David Trumper from Carers Centre say people in Bath "cannot afford to wait until 2023 because that will be far too late".

While £5.4 billion has been pledged by the government over the next three years, they go on to say, "without an urgent injection of cash we also fear the position will go on getting worse, because of growing demand and rising costs.

Unpaid carers, often relatives, are taking a big proportion of the burden.

David Moss is an upaid carer for his wife. He says he's come to really rely on the Bath Carers support group to stop him "going bonkers."

"It's provided a welcome burst of sanity in an otherwise rather funny world."

Since April, the number of calls made to the Carers Centre hotline have gone up by a third and 80% of them were on the phone for 20 minutes or longer - a sign the charity says that it's becoming too much.

Janine Woodward-Grant, Acting CEO for the Carers Centre says there are a huge number of challenges for unpaid carers.

"Unpaid carers can't carry on, they can't keep caring for people at home if they are not given the right support to enable them to do that."

Today (22 October) the government has agreed to invest a further £162.5 million of new funding to help workforce retention and recruitment in adult social care.

Music performed for people at Age UK's day club in Bath Credit: ITV News

Full Letter

AGE UK Bath & North East Somerset and B&NES Carers Centre are calling on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, to give councils the extra money they need to provide decent care services for older and disabled people now and over the next three years, when he announces the outcomes of his Spending Review at the end of October.

We know that good social care makes such a big difference to people, including round here in Bath & North East Somerset, and their families too. In fact Age UK Bath & North East Somerset's recent survey shows that ‘fixing social care now’ was the biggest priority for older people with 36% of people saying it is crucial for everyone.

We are pleased that the Prime Minister has announced more help for people who face sky high care bills, but virtually none of the funding that goes along with his plan is set to arrive in local areas like ours' before autumn 2023 at the earliest, and most of it is tied up with administering the new care cap.

Yet many people here and elsewhere need more help from good care services now. They can't afford to wait until 2023 because that will be far too late. Unless more money comes into social care via local councils very soon, more and more people will have to put up with inadequate provision, if they can get it at all. Without an urgent injection of cash we also fear the position will go on getting worse, because of growing demand and rising costs.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is holding the future of care in his hands.

That's why we are calling on him to play his part in "fixing social care" as the Prime Minister has promised, through the funding decisions he makes in a few weeks' time. For people who need help here in Bath & North East Somerset and, indeed, throughout the country, the stakes really are very high.

We are committed to building an area where people age well and getting adequate social care now, is key to that commitment becoming a success.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Age UK Bath & North East Somerset

David Trumper, Chief Executive Officer of Carers Centre.