The Government has said that councils will have up to £3.5 billion of additional funds to fund adult social care services by 2019-20 as a result of new tax raising powers and additional investment. However, this investment will not arrive until 2017-18, leaving councils facing a funding gap.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The Spending Review was an opportunity for the Government to address the deep-seated issue of social care funding, but instead they just tinkered around the edges.
“The 2% rise in council tax falls short of delivering the vital investment needed, penalising the poorest areas of the country and hitting the most vulnerable hardest.
“Demand for social care is outstripping supply at an unprecedented rate. By 2030 the cost of residential care for people with dementia will have more than doubled from £8.5 billion to £19.3 billion. Unless urgent action is taken to place social care on a sustainable financial footing, the most vulnerable people in society will be left to rely on the support of unpaid carers, family and friends.
“The warning lights are flashing red. These measures fail to address the crisis in social care, which threatens to engulf the NHS as we move further into winter. We will see more hospitals declaring major incidents and A&E departments swamped with admissions as our public services cannot support older people properly in the community.”