“Councils work closely with providers to ensure a diverse and quality provider market that gives people the right choice of care options. But despite their best efforts, many councils have had to squeeze what they pay care providers and this can vary in different areas.
“The current combined pressures of insufficient funding, growing demand and extra costs, mean that adult social care is facing a funding gap that is growing by at least £700 million a year, estimated to reach £2.9 billion by the end of the decade, even before the cost of the National Living Wage is taken into account in full.
“We need to see a change to the current funding system which, over the last five years, has seen an increase in funding for the NHS but a decrease in funding for social care. This threatens to leave councils struggling to commission the essential support which keeps people out of hospital and living healthier and happier lives in their communities.
“Only with a properly and adequately resourced adult social care system can we address the growing concerns about the state of an increasingly fragile provider market.”