Councils may be unable to fulfil their legal obligations under the Care Act due to a chronic underfunding of social care, town hall chiefs have warned.
In its Budget submission, the Local Government Association (LGA) said the Care Act would fail unless new money was released for social care services.
The LGA also warned that councils could face judicial review due to the limitations in the level of care they will be able to provide.
The Government has also been urged to set out contingency plans to deal with major failure in the care provider market, as the LGA said many contracts were already being handed back to councils.
Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said: ‘The Care Act is a really important piece of legislation which the LGA fully supports. But the intentions and the spirit of the Care Act that aims to help people to live well and independently, are in grave danger of falling apart and failing, unless new funding is announced by government for adult social care.’
Cllr Seccombe also called on the Government to provide an ‘honest and upfront’ account of what level of care the public should expect to receive from councils on the current level of funding.
‘Genuinely new government funding is now the only way to save the Care Act, and to protect the services caring for our elderly and disabled people and ensure they can enjoy dignified, healthy and independent lives, live in their own community and stay out of hospital for longer, reducing the pressures on the NHS,’ she said.
Ministers recently dodged questions about the long-term funding of social care, claiming there is a ‘spectacular’ disparity in bed blocking performance across different local authority areas.