Government Report States: ‘No Deal Brexit May Lead to Care Provider Failure’
Friday, 13th September 2019
The document, which was only made public after MPs voted for its release, states 'the adult social care market is already fragile due to declining financial viability of providers.
‘An increase in inflation following EU exit would significantly impact adult social care providers due to increasing staff and support costs, and may lead to provider failure, with smaller providers impacted within 2 - 3 months and larger providers 4 - 6 months after exit.'
The paper advises planning for potential closures and the handing back of contracts.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary commented on the document, saying: “Care is in crisis, and this paper shows that the government is fully aware of that fact and just failing to act."
He added: “Now we see that the Prime Minister’s reckless pursuit of No Deal could mean closures in the already struggling sector.
“This shows the shambles of the entire system - on Brexit, on care, on how we look after the most vulnerable.This is complete and utter political failure on every imaginable front.”
Care providers want the government to act over the ongoing social care crisis before a no-deal Brexit makes the current situation ’10 times worse’.
Mike Padgham, chair of Independent Care Group has said providers have been warning for years over the crisis in social care, which has left 1.4m people unable to get the care they need after £8bn was cut from local authority social care budgets since 2010. Care and nursing homes are closing and home care agencies are handing back contracts because they are untenable.
Mr Padgham said: “There is already huge uncertainty over social care’s ability to recruit staff post-Brexit.
“This latest document lays bare the Government’s fear that the sector is going to be further affected by rising costs after a no-deal Brexit. Whilst it sets out the potential issues, it does not offer solutions."
He added: “The proposed Green Paper has been kicked into the long grass until at least the end of the year and we are facing a very difficult future, which the Yellowhammer document suggests could be ten times worse.
The independent care group says the publication of the document is further evidence of the dangers to the care of older and vulnerable people post Brexit and the need to tackle the crisis urgently.
Operation Yellowhammer also warned that some fresh supplies will decrease and that ‘critical dependencies for the food chain’ such as key ingredients ‘may be in shorter supply’.
It said these factors would not lead to overall food shortages ‘but will reduce the availability and choice of products and will increase price, which could impact vulnerable groups’.
The ICG says the past 17 years has seen 13 documents - four independent reviews and commissions, four consultations and five white and green papers on care. It argues that action, rather than further discussion, is now overdue.