Enable turns around deficit amid “incredibly challenging” climate

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The learning disability charity posted a surplus of £400,000 over the past year

22nd November 2016 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A leading learning disability charity has turned around a £1.2 million deficit to post a £400,000 surplus over the past year.

Enable Scotland generated an income of £31.6m during 2015/16 while it spent £31.2m, according to annual accounts published this week.

In the previous 12 months, the charity’s spend was the same but it brought in just £30m.

Chief executive Theresa Shearer said Enable had taken “decisive action” to reduce costs but the financial climate for social care organisations remained “incredibly challenging”. 

Since April 2015, the charity has been forced to lay off a number of non-frontline staff and review its council contracts despite a rising demand for services. 

We will continue to innovate and promote new solutions in the face of unprecedented challenges for the social care sector in Scotland

Ms Shearer said: “We have strengthened our financial performance to support the longer-term sustainability of the organisation. But significant challenges remain for Enable Scotland and the sector as a whole.

“Our 2015-2016 financial position has delivered a year-end result of £407,000 surplus, which represents a significant turn-around for Enable Scotland. This is remarkable against a backdrop of rising demand for our services and increased costs.”

Ms Shearer previously told TFN that public sector cuts, increased demand for personalised services and the impact of the Scottish Living Wage were contributing to a “perfect storm” facing the social care sector.

She has called on Enable Scotland and the sector to “think differently” and believes social care organisations can work more collaboratively to provide services to people in need.

Writing in the annual report, she concluded: “Increasing income and controlling expenditure while doing what we do even better has put Enable Scotland back on a more solid and sustainable financial footing. However, the medium-term environment remains incredibly challenging.

“We fully support the principle and practice of personalisation and believe every member of staff has a right to be paid the living wage for all hours worked. But there is no denying the financial strain this – and cuts to public sector funding – is putting on all social care providers.

“We will continue to innovate and promote new solutions in the face of unprecedented challenges for the social care sector in Scotland.”