Many families are being plunged into debt to generate bloated profits for shadowy private companies, says GMB Union
GMB Union says today’s ONS figures show thousands of self-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.
These figures are just for residential care, domiciliary care (care provided in your own home) has its own crisis with tens of thousands unable to get any care at all.
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.
“Care workers are paid the bare minimum while care home residents shell out their life savings just so they can have dignity in old age.
"GMB is campaigning for at least £15 an hour for care workers.”