Posted: Thursday 24th January 2019
For 2018/19 our spending on older people’s care and support is budgeted as £154m per annum (care home fees, homecare, day services etc.) and we expect to collect £36.5m from those older people as a contribution towards the cost of their care. For services for younger disabled people aged 18-64, including those with learning and/or physical disabilities Hertfordshire will spend £183m to support these people and collect £11.3m in care charges. Most councils now spend more on care for younger disabled people than for older people. The projected costs to meet the needs of younger people in the long term are greater than for older people; any sustainable funding solution for adult social care would need to include both cohorts of individuals.
The fragility of the private care sector, in Hertfordshire and nationally, is recognised and well documented. The National Minimum Wage, pension schemes, inflation and additional regulatory burdens all contribute to greatly increased costs for care providers. A competitive labour market where the care sector is not seen as an employer of choice adds to the fragility. In Hertfordshire we have worked hard to celebrate the quality of care and protect the county’s adult social care budgets, providing targeted inflationary increases to our care providers’ year on year, but we are now seeing a more significant workforce shortage and care businesses exiting the market.