Social care spending in Sheffield has been cut by 12 per cent per person over past decade
South Yorkshire councils are spending £46.5 million less on adult social care than they were a decade ago, with Sheffield’s funding cut by 12 percent per person.
Analysis by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) showed Sheffield had the sixth largest cuts to adult social care in Yorkshire, and Barnsley had the worst at 32 percent less per person than in 2010.
Most care homes are run privately for profit which the TUC said directs public funds away from service users and squeezes pay and conditions for staff.
It added current levels of funding were insufficient to meet demand and local authorities will be unable to meet future demand from a 49 percent increase in those aged 65 and up by 2040.
Bill Adams, regional secretary of TUC, said: “When communities needed them, our social care workers stepped up. Care workers looked after older and disabled people in the midst of a pandemic, often without the right PPE, and often for low wages and no sick pay.
“Now it’s time to fix the broken system. Social care is badly underfunded. Pay and conditions for care workers are dreadful. And families can’t be sure of high-quality, affordable care when a family member needs it.
“As we face mass unemployment, ministers should act to unlock the 120,000 existing social care vacancies right now. And they should put investment in social care at the heart of our national recovery plan."
Part of the TUC's report calls for changes to address these issues including fairer pay for workers, a phasing out of the for-profit model of delivery and fully offset the cuts of the previous decade and establish rises to meet future demand.
Local authorities are responsible for delivering the services but the policy and funding framework is set by central government.
Councillor George Lindars-Hammond, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Like other local authorities, our spending has been cut due to austerity. We support the TUC’s call for an increase in social care funding. We’re doing everything we can to help Sheffield through Covid-19 and ensuring we have sustainable social care going forward. However, we desperately need a long term funding plan for social care from central government.”