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GN Law Media: Social care is at a crossroads

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has prepared a report on budget cuts for this year. ADASS calls on the government to “protect essential care and support services to our most vulnerable citizen”.

In the period of 2015/16, social care funding has decreased from £14.9 billion to £13.3 billion, a reduction of 10.7%. This means that more than £1 billion will be cut from social care services for the older and disabled in England over the next year. The impact of this will be that many of those in need of help with basic tasks such as washing, dressing and eating will not have the funding to be able to get help with these daily tasks.

This year, spending on social care has remained steady on 35%. The ADASS report concludes that “Councils have tried to protect social care spending at the cost of other services but are running out of ability to do this in the future.”  Although an attempt has made to protect social care spending at the cost of other services, the cuts to social care will have an adverse effect on other important healthcare services. The NHS will be put under increased pressure as this will in turn mean they have to pick up some of the slack. 

Around 400,000 fewer people received social care support over the past five years than in previous years, a trend that social care directors say they expect to continue. Councils are forecasting a £4.3bn black hole in social care funding in England by 2020. The stark warning given in the ADASS report states that further cuts would jeopardise the safety and well-being of vulnerable older people.  This statement alone highlights the danger and grave impact of these cuts and the risk it poses to older disabled people in England.

Social care is now at a crossroads. These cuts may mean that it is at a risk of becoming a residual service. Many people and their families could be left struggling to obtain social care support or to meet the costs of care themselves. 

Posted on Friday, 5th June 2015