Responding to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Service’s annual budget survey to be released today, Sir Merrick Cockell, Chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), said:
“This report helpfully outlines the scale of the issue facing social care. Our population is ageing and demand for adult social care services will only continue to grow. Councils have made savings of £10 billion in the last three years, and will continue to try and protect spending on adult social care next year as much as possible, but we cannot keep doing this without harming popular services like buses, libraries and leisure centres that help improve quality of life and bind communities together.
“This highlights why we urgently need the Government to commit to a bigger Better Care Fund that will join up funding between health and social care for the next five years, providing better support for less money. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to both improve quality of life for people in their older years and steer England’s social care system away from the road to financial ruin, we cannot afford to jeopardise it.
“Next year will be a make or break for local services provided by councils and for the NHS and it will be the most vulnerable families and older people in our communities that will feel the brunt of such a severely underfunded service. Less money in social care will have an inevitable impact on councils’ ability to relieve the pressure on a similarly squeezed NHS by keeping people out of hospital and in the community. Too many older people are being let down by a broken system which leaves them languishing in hospital beds while they wait for an alternative, or consigned to residential care because we lack the capacity to help them live independently.”