The current system of adult social care is at 'breaking point', local government leaders have warned.
Responding to a study by the King’s Fund saying the system is in crisis, Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said people were living longer, costs were increasing and yet funding was being cut.
The study found a 2% rise in new requests for adult social care since 2015-16 but at the same time the number of people being helped had fallen by nearly 13,000.
It found local council spending on social care had dropped in real terms and is now £700m below what it was in 2010-11.
The report's lead author Simon Bottery, senior fellow at the King’s Fund, said: 'This report shows that increasing need among working-age adults, an increasing older population and high levels of existing unmet need are combining to put immense pressure on our care and support system, now and for the future.
'Yet there is little evidence that the Government understands or is willing to act on these trends despite the impact on older and disabled people, their families and carers.'
Cllr Hudspeth said: 'Councils have been doing all they can to protect levels of spending on adult social care but the money is simply not there to keep up with demand, with adult social care facing a £3.5bn funding gap by 2025 just to maintain existing levels of provision.
'This is why it is absolutely vital the Government sets out how it plans to tackle this crisis without further delay in the social care green paper and addresses the funding shortfall in the forthcoming Spending Review.'