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Southdown Responds To Decrease In Social Care Funding

Posted on 5 April 2023

In a white paper on adult social care reform published in December 2021, ministers pledged to invest “at least £500m over the next three years to begin to transform the way we support the social care workforce”. However, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Tuesday that plans for a “new care workforce pathway” as well as “hundreds of thousands of training places” will be backed by £250m in funding. Read more here.

Neil Blanchard, Chief Executive at Southdown, says,

At Southdown, we echo comments made from national charities today that halving funding promised for the social care workforce in England is disgraceful. As a provider of housing, care and support for 10,000 people a year, we see first-hand the vital impact of social care on people’s lives and local communities. Fair funding is essential to enable organisations like Southdown pay frontline workers fairly for the amazing work that they do.

Locally in Sussex, I have led a lobbying campaign on behalf of Southdown and the wider care sector, to ensure that we receive adequate funding to cover costs for the services we provide, enabling us to alleviate in-work poverty for workers (aligned to Brighton and Hove City Council’s commitment to the Real Living Wage). This campaign is against the backdrop of our Brighton and Hove City Council funded learning disability care services operating in a deficit position for the past five years.

Each year, I have been required to appeal fee increases initially proposed, as well as negotiate individual fee reviews for placements. 2023/24 will be no exception.

Although Brighton and Hove City Council did acknowledge care sector workforce and funding pressures when considering fee uplifts for 2023/24, the 5% agreed is significantly below actual cost inflation and that of neighbouring authorities (East and West Sussex both awarding 10%). Despite the Council identifying a need to expand provision of specialist supported living services, if they fail to offer competitive funding, then the market is unlikely to be able to respond or sustain current services.

I am beyond proud of the amazing team we have at Southdown who provide over 62 services across Sussex for people that need it most. On behalf of my colleagues as well as the wider social care sector, I am committed to continuing to do what I can to ensure fair funding for fair pay becomes a reality one day.