Local councils and other non-protected government departments have been ordered to draw up savings plans worth as much as 40% of their budgets ahead of the Spending Review on November 25, which will set out government spending plans for the next four years.
The Local Government Association is warning that this would deliver a £10.5 billion knock-out blow to cherished local services, threatening the provision and delivery of adult social care services. This would equate to a proportionate £3.05 billion cut to adult social services.
Since 2010, £4.6 billion of cuts have already resulted in an estimated 500,000 older and disabled being denied access to care. These additional cuts could leave a further 330,000 older and disabled people being denied access to care.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“Government is walking eyes wide open into a crisis which threatens to destabilise the way we treat the most vulnerable in society. If threadbare adult social care services are cut by as much as 40%, many essential care and support services for people with dementia will be rationed out of existence.
“Such cuts would entrench the two-tier health and social care system where people with dementia rely on a means-tested, bankrupt social care system while people with other long-term conditions, including cancer and diabetes, continue to receive care free of charge from a ring-fenced NHS. With an ageing population, the human and economic consequences of this for people with dementia and their carers will be drastic.
“The government cannot be blind to the fact that when our public services fail to support older people properly in the community hospitals pick up the pieces. With winter on the horizon, the crisis in social care threatens to engulf the NHS and we will see more hospitals declaring major incidents as A&E departments are swamped with admissions.”
“The spending review gives the opportunity to end the damaging cuts to social care, not compound them by hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.”