Due to people being discharged from hospital sooner, to free up capacity for Covid, there has been a 27% increase in the demand for social work as a result of assessing people in their own homes or multiple intermediate settings rather than in a single hospital ward.
The recently announced care cap policy will require all existing self-funders, who have previously had no contact with their local authority, to obtain an assessment of need in order to start their care cap clock.
This will result in a significant increase in the volume of assessments and reviews to be carried out annually requiring a large increase in the already stretched social work workforce.
This is because the cap to care costs does not refer to what a self-funder actually pays for their care, but to what their local authority would spend on their care if they were they meeting their care and support needs.
We must assume that the White Paper will set out proposals for this logistical challenge in readiness for October 2023.