20 Mar 2024

Homecare Association calls for urgent action on social care reform as MPs highlight funding and workforce challenges

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a hard-hitting report warning that the government's plans for reforming adult social care in England have gone awry. The report highlights several key issues:

  • Integrated Care Systems are not yet delivering for social care
  • Additional funding is not providing value for money because of its short-term nature
  • Local authorities lack long-term funding to plan services effectively
  • There is still no credible long-term plan to fix chronic workforce shortages
  • Promised workforce reforms are badly behind schedule, with a ‘novel’ IT system commissioned from NHS Business Services behind schedule and an amber risk
  • Overall progress against the government's 10-year vision is inadequate

The committee calls for urgent action, including multi-year funding settlements, a comprehensive workforce strategy, greater transparency of outcomes data, and a clear roadmap for delivering the government's reform ambitions. The findings underscore the challenges facing the sector and the need for concrete plans to give confidence that the promised improvements to adult social care will become a reality.


Homecare Association CEO, Dr Jane Townson OBE said:

“This disturbing report from the Public Accounts Committee confirms what we have long warned - that the government is failing in its promise to reform social care.

We agree adult social care risks being overshadowed in the new Integrated Care Systems. Without transparency, accessible data, and a rebalancing to give social care an equal voice, we will not realise the promised benefits of health and care integration.

The lack of sustainable funding, absence of workforce planning, and delays to vital reforms are threatening the viability of homecare services across the country. Local authorities are being left in an impossible position, while dedicated care workers face another year of poverty pay.

Two years after the Prime Minister pledged to "fix social care", there is scant evidence of progress. Instead, the committee found an increasing gap between the government's rhetoric and reality.

Warm words will not deliver the transformation that is desperately needed. We are calling for:

  1. Immediate multi-year funding settlements to stabilise the sector
  2. A comprehensive workforce strategy to tackle unacceptable pay and conditions and address the mismatch between supply and demand, especially in rural and coastal areas with higher proportions of older people
  3. A published timetable for delivering training and registration reforms
  4. Full transparency on progress against clear milestones


The ongoing failure to grasp this nettle is not just letting down people who draw on social care and their families. It is putting the future of the entire sector at risk.

This must be a wake-up call for the government to get a grip on deepening difficulties in the care sector. We stand ready to work with them to deliver the bold changes required, but it demands leadership, funding, urgency and accountability. Without those, the bleak picture set out by the Public Accounts Committee will only worsen”.




Ella Owens, Policy Specialist – External Affairs

Email - [email protected]

Mobile number - 07393 012 113

Notes to editors

  1. The Homecare Association is the UK’s membership body for homecare providers, with over 2,200 members nationally. Our mission is to ensure that homecare receives the investment it deserves, so all of us can live well at home and flourish within our communities. The Homecare Association acts as a trusted voice, taking a lead in shaping homecare, in collaboration with partners across the care sector. It also provides hands-on support and practical tools for its members. The Homecare Association's members agree to abide by the Association's Code of Practice.