Almost 150,000 self-funding carers propping up 'broken system'

15 Oct 2021
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GMB Union says today’s ONS figures show almost 150,000self-funding carers are propping up a ‘broken system’. 

Data from the Office for National Statistics this morning reveals that between 2019 and 2020, there were approximately 143,774 (36.7%) self-funded care home residents

Years of inadequate local authority funding for the care sector has forced many families who pay for a loved one’s care into financial hardship, the union says. 

A previous GMB investigation into social care debt carried out by GMB in 2018 revealed at least 166,000 people were trapped in debt for their social care, with more than 78,000 having debt management procedures started against them and more than 1,000 facing court proceedings. 

Pete Davies, GMB Senior Organiser, said:   

“The under-funding and exploitation of our care system has weighed heavy on those who find themselves having to pay for their own care. 

“Many people are paying far above the rate that a local authority would pay for the same service.    

“Ultimately, they are paying over the odds and often being plunged into debt to prop up a broken system – one that relies on gross injustice to generate bloated profits for shadowy private companies.  

“Often care is commissioned by the minute, which means care workers don't even get an hourly minimum wage - this further highlights why the care sector needs fixing now. 

“Care workers can't survive on empty promises by a Government that is turning away from the elderly and most vulnerable in our communities whilst refusing to recognise the highly skilled workforce. 

"GMB is campaigning for at least £15 an hour for care workers.” 

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