A survey of senior officials has suggested that adult social care firms are struggling to hire, retain and train their staff due to cuts to council budgets.
There is a £1.1.bn shortfall to councils in England warns the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and freezing care provider fees to save money is no longer sustainable, reports the BBC.
The survey, which was completed by 147 directors of adult social services for councils in England, suggests that funding reductions to social care budgets have totalled £4.6bn since 2010 – a 31% overall reduction.
It’s been revealed that budgets for adult social care this year will reduce by a further £500m too.
“Taking the growth in numbers of older and disabled people into account, this means that an additional £1.1bn would be needed to provide the same level of service as last year,” the report warned.
“What is at stake is the continuing capacity of adult social care to sustain services to those in greatest need,” ADASS president Ray James said. “In virtually all our authorities, the number in need is growing, while the complexity of their needs is increasing.”
ADASS called for the government to “protect essential care and support services to the most vulnerable members of our community”.
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, from the Local Government Association (LGA), said adult social care services were facing “enormous pressures” due to “insufficient funding, growing demand and escalating costs. We have long warned that investing in the NHS whilst social care budgets are under continual pressure is simply a false economy. It is social care services that support elderly and vulnerable people to maintain their independence, live in their own community and stay out of hospital longer.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the idea of a further £1bn coming out of social care budgets was “chilling”.
Sue Brown, vice chairman of the Care and Support Alliance – which represents 80 leading charities – said the figures “confirm what we already know – that the care system is in worsening crisis”.
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