Warning over care funding cuts
Published on 08 May 2013 11:30 AM
Older people and the disabled are going to find it increasingly difficult to gain state-funded support in 2013 and 2014 as the Government's austerity measures continue to impact on local authorities, according to social care directors.
A survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) reveals that between them by April councils will have reduced their spending on adult social care services by £2.7 billion since 2010 - with budgets down by as much as a fifth - while the need for care keeps on rising.
ADASS says this will mean less help for people with essentials such as eating and washing and some will get no care support at all.
Its president, Sandie Keene, said councils have strived to cover some of the shortfalls by streamlining their services, but vulnerable people are being affected.
The Government's new Care and Support bill is designed to clear up social care rights and is expected to lead to closer working between NHS services and social care, but it is not thought that it will do much to solve council funding problems.
800,000 older people in need receive no formal support
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK, said: 'This is very worrying news. Since this Government came to power, in real terms, £710 million has been cut from social care spending, largely as a result of the slashing of local authority budgets.
'Further cuts will do nothing to help the 800,000 older people who need help with everyday tasks but receive no formal support - there have been too many heart-breaking and shocking stories of older people who are being let down by the care system. This makes very little moral or financial sense as good, well-funded social care can allow people to remain part of their community whilst reducing the costs for the NHS by avoiding preventable hospital admissions.'
'The care of the most vulnerable in our society is one of the most important issues facing the country. It is too important to cast aside and for corners to continue to be cut. We need the Government to show leadership and make the difficult but vital decisions to reform our broken care system and lift the fear out of later life.'
Copyright Press Association, 2013.