Carers UK warns that without urgent and significant investment in social care, the consequences for families, the NHS and the viability of care providers are potentially devastating.
The warning comes in response to the ADASS Budget Survey 2016 , which shows that social care funding is not matching the growing need for, and cost of, care for older and disabled people. Whilst additional funding for care has been made available through the locally raised precept and future initiatives including the new Better Care Fund, ADASS warns that this funding comes too little and too late.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“A little more than a year after the Care Act came into force, adult social care leaders are losing confidence in their ability to be able to afford to deliver basic care services to older and disabled people and those who care for them.
“This reflects the experiences of families who, as a result of struggling to get essential support in place, are increasingly having to step-in to provide greater levels of care for their loved ones; putting their own health, ability to work, and other family responsibilities under threat. 1 in 5 people who provide unpaid care for 50 hours or more hours a week already go without any practical support whatsoever and today’s survey signals even harder times ahead .
“With an ageing population, the continued downward pressure on adult social care spending is unsustainable and is already leaving hundreds of thousands of people without even the most basic support. Urgent and significant investment in social care is needed not only to stop the strain on families but also to reverse the potentially devastating repercussions for the NHS and the viability of care providers that support some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Carers UK’s State of Caring 2016 report, based on a survey of over 6,000 carers, revealed that:
- 1 in 5 people who provide unpaid care for 50 hours or more hours a week don’t receive any practical support
- 1 in 3 carers reported a change in the amount of care and support services they or the person they care for have received in the past year. Of these, over half (59%) saw a reduction in care and support services due to cost or availability; including 13% who said a service was closed with no replacement offered
- 1 in 3 carers (29%) who have had a carer’s assessment had to wait six months or longer for it; what’s more, 1 in 3 carers (39%) looking after someone at the end of their life had to wait six months or more for an assessment