THE government has been urged to support the adult social care sector in Hampshire as county bosses are said to be “deeply concerned”.

Civic chiefs and care bosses have joined forces to call on the Government to fast track plans for long-term funding for adult social care.

The news comes as last week Hampshire County Council revealed that the pandemic is set to cost the council £195.5m, of which £110m is currently unfunded.

The government said it remains “absolutely committed” to bringing forward a plan for social care.

But county bosses said a survey by the Hampshire Care Association (HCA), which represents the county’s independent care home sector, has shown that adult social care costs associated with dealing with the Covid-19 crisis grew by just under 20 per cent between February and May.

The exact figures have not been disclosed but Samir Patel, chair of HCA, says the support from the county council to the care sector across Hampshire has been vital.

However, he warned “it merely provides a stop-gap”.

“Alongside our colleagues at the county council, we remain deeply concerned about the medium and longer term future for the sector and call upon Government to urgently identify solutions to safeguard the future of social care services,” Mr Patel added.

He said the work of employees in the care sector deserves recognition and support.

As previously reported, earlier this year the county council approved plans to save £80m by 2021, with  £43.1m set to be saved  in the department of adult social care and public health.

The authority, which is a member of HCA, has recently set out a plan outlining actions in support of the care sector.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, the county council’s executive member for adult social care and health, said: “Not only do we want to be assured that the county has the capacity to support the increasing number of vulnerable local people, but a robust independent care sector is important for the local economy too.We remain absolutely committed to supporting local providers. This is why it’s imperative that, as a country, we find a sustainable, long term funding solution for adult social care.”

The government said it has made £3.2bn available to local authorities to deal with the pandemic.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We remain absolutely committed to bringing forward a plan for social care so everybody is treated with dignity and respect, and nobody has to sell their home to pay for care. The Health Secretary has already sought views from across parliament – but this is one of the most complex issues we face, and it is right we take time to develop a fair, sustainable solution.”