Responding to new figures from NHS Digital which shows that the annual spending by local authorities on social care rose by £556 million in 2016/17 to £17.5 billion, Cllr Linda Thomas, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“These figures show that while councils are doing all they can to protect adult social care services, the increase in demand and cost for services is only adding to the huge pressure they are already under to support older and disabled people, keeping them at home living independently in the community, and out of hospital.
“Social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3 billion by 2020. It is vital that the Government sets out in the Autumn Budget how it will address the social care crisis and deliver long-lasting reform that meets the needs of adults of all ages needing social care.
“The social care council tax precept and the £2 billion announced for social care in the Spring Budget were steps in the right direction but these one-off measures are by no means adequate in securing a long-term sustainable funding solution.
“Councils also need to be given the freedom and flexibility to invest in social care where it is most needed if the money is to be effective.”