The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has found that almost 90% of councils in England are not offering social care to people whose needs are classed as low to moderate.
ADASS are warning that cuts are making the care system “unsustainable” with charities saying hundreds of thousands of people are struggling without help, even though the government says councils have been given an extra £1.1bn to help protect social care this year, reports the BBC.
In 2010-11, Adass says 72% of councils in England only offered help with care to adults with substantial or critical needs. The association says that figure has now risen to 89%.
Adass president David Pearson says: “Adult social services and local councils have done their utmost to protect services to older and vulnerable people. The scale of reductions in adult care spending, which amount to some £3.5 billion in the past three years, really does raise issues concerning the long-term sustainability of our services unless new money is introduced shortly.”
Richard Hawkes, chairman of the Care and Support Alliance which represents 75 charities, says the care system is “in crisis”.
He added: “Population changes mean more and more people need care, yet fewer and fewer people get it, as chronic underfunding has seen a year-on-year rationing of support. Every day, our 75 organisations hear horror stories of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house. This is also putting unbearable pressure on family carers. Our survey shows the public has lost confidence in the current system. It shows care, along with health, is where the public want the Government to invest more.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said it had invested in social care.
“We have given an extra £1.1bn to councils to help protect social care services this year – that’s on top of additional funding in recent years. Councils are ultimately responsible for deciding how to spend their budgets but with a growing ageing population we know that we all need to work differently. The Care Act and our £3.8bn Better Care Fund will focus resources on helping people to live independently for as long as possible, which can save money and prevent people from needing more support.”
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