Providers warn government over sector stability

People with learning disabilities and autism at risk of low-quality support and denial of right to decent life

NHS and local authority funding well below increase in staffing costs, with some providers forced to hand back care contracts, says new report

Spend on agency staff increased nearly threefold

Market Oversight report Cordis Bright final

A financial impact report commissioned by members of the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) Market Oversight Scheme, has revealed that independent care and support providers are reaching a financial tipping point which risks denying people with learning disabilities and autism their right to decent, fulfilling, and stable care.

Three quarters of those surveyed expect to make losses or at best break-even this year. For the last five years, financial settlements haven’t kept pace with increases in costs, putting considerable pressure on the finances of these organisations.

The report reveals how providers are being forced to stop supporting people, handing back responsibility to Local Authorities due to consistent losses on the day-to-day operation of services. All Chief Executives interviewed for the research believe that these contract hand backs will accelerate over the next 18 months, with a direct impact on the quality of life of people whose support has become unaffordable.

The CQC’s Market Oversight scheme was set up to protect care and support recipients from the impact of a Southern Cross-style collapse that put 30,000 people’s care at risk in 2015. Though this background is very different, this report from members of that scheme should make clear that in the absence of direct action from central government, there is a clear risk of repeat. And the consequences will fall directly on those who have a learning disability and/or or autism, and their families.

Rachael Dodgson, Chief Executive at Dimensions, commented: